Hunting and pest control are not commonly discussed during election campaigns, with most politicians preferring to keep conservation and wildlife management pledges deliberately vague. So when Country Liberal Party leader and current Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles kicked off day one of the Territory’s campaign by pledging to open up previously off-limit sections of the NT’s parks and reserves for shooters, specifically SSAA members, it’s something to sit up and take notice of.
Minister Giles pledged that if re-elected, areas of Litchfield National Park would be open for members of shooting associations including the SSAA to hunt feral cats, dogs, pigs, horses, donkeys and buffalo. In announcing the Back-Country Hunting areas scheme, he stated: “The Country Liberals are committed to providing more experiences which will enhance the sports shooting and hunting lifestyle.”
SSAA Northern Territory President Rob Kittle described the plan as “a good idea”, as it included conditions for potential hunters to require accreditation from proven organisations like the SSAA in order to participate. “It is a really good idea and something we need in the Territory. Hopefully it will get support from Labor too.”
The Territory Labor Party promised to consult with hunters if elected, but did not pledge support for the idea. Territorian voters head to the polls on August 27.