Push to legalise hunting in Queensland
A RECREATIONAL hunter has brought a petition before Queensland Parliament to legislate the hunting of feral game in state forests for a three year trial, a proposal backed by nearly 7000 people.
Daniel Boniface, a full-time student studying a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and also a recreational hunter, said such schemes are in place in NSW and Victoria, and have proven "safe and successful".
Hunting in Queensland is currently limited to feral animals on private property, with the landowners' permission to hunt.
In the petition - which has been supported by Katter's Australian Party MP Nick Dametto - feral species, including deer, goats, pigs, foxes, feral dogs and feral cats could be hunted in Queensland's state forests.
Mr Boniface said the legislation would have "multi-faceted economic and ecological" benefits.
"The obvious benefits to the environment include ameliorating damage inflicted by pigs, deer, buffalo, donkeys and feral cattle and also alleviating pressures of predation from foxes, feral cats and feral dogs," he said.
"The economic benefits of that would involve hunters from interstate, hunters on the south east corner of Queensland travelling to remote communities and spending money on things like accommodation, fuel, food, drinks, ice and souvenirs.
"And there's a lot of areas stricken by drought and unemployment and the drought isn't just affecting primary producers it's affecting their communities because people aren't spending money."
Mr Boniface referred to an economic impact of recreational hunting in NSW report by NSW Department of Primary Industries from May last year which revealed recreational hunting by the 19,000 NSW game hunting license holders accounts for $119 million of Gross State Product and 860 jobs.
The report further showed the 207,000 non-game licence holders account for between $446 million and $1.366 million of Gross State Product and between 3932 and 11,572 jobs.
Mr Boniface said the NSW DPI report should act as a case study for a similar scheme to be established in Queensland.
He added the legislation could be "controversial to some but hugely beneficial to great stakeholders and the environment".
"The people who understandably have concerns about public safety haven't had the opportunity to comment on it yet and I welcome those comments and that discussion because it gives the firearm community an opportunity to talk about how important public safety and the safe use of firearms is to us," he said.
"At this point in time the petition is simply seeking a three-year trial of hunting in state forests so we can generate some evidence from the standpoint of its ecological benefits and its environmental benefits and also to show like NSW, Queensland firearm owners can get through a period and prove themselves trustworthy with no incidents at all."
Mr Boniface said he would "welcome" a conversation with any stakeholders about how they can address people's concerns around public safety.
"The petition isn't really proposing anything other than a conversation," he said.
Already 6754 signatures have been made since the petition was posted on the 4 of September, with Mr Boniface hoping for 10,000 signatures.