Push for guaranteed fishing rights

THE NSW-based Shooters & Fishers Party this week released a press statement highlighting its push to have individual rights to fish and hunt written in to the state’s Constitution.

The release states: The fact that hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits are a political issue, and that they do not have bipartisan support in NSW politics, is exactly why the NSW Constitution should protect the rights of its citizens to enjoy them.

“It is vital that we conserve our environment, and equally essential that we preserve our rights to be part of it and interact with it,” said Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Borsak.

“Hunting and fishing should not be political issues, they must be respected as the social and cultural rights and pursuits they are.”

Hunting is ingrained in human consciousness and genetics by at least 1.5 million years of evolution, according to the latest scientific evidence, and in the modern perspective, fishing is one of the nation’s most popular pursuits.

“Is it any surprise, then, that fishers and hunters have rallied so strongly in the political arena to undo the ideologically driven bans of the extremists who’ve hijacked the politics of real conservation?” Mr Borsak said.

“Australia and NSW in particular has allowed a Disneyesque view of the wild world to dictate government policy, rather than follow the tried and true paths of Conservation in our modern times, pioneered in Europe and the USA.

“Anti-hunting and fishing agendas have been implemented by a minority who hold the ridiculous belief that humankind has evolved away from the urge to hunt, fish and gather, but the truth is these vocal activists simply do not like something that is part of our genetic history and central to our cultural heritage.”

“Seventeen US states enshrine the right to hunt and fish in their Constitutions and more are looking seriously at following their example. It should not be necessary here in NSW, but the irrational and emotional opposition to our cultural heritage warns us that we may need to do the same.

“To this end the Shooters and Fishers Party will be pursuing the inclusion of the right to hunt and fish as an amendment to the NSW Constitution Act of 1902,” Mr Borsak said.

The statement concluded: Neither Australia nor NSW have a Bill of Rights as such, but such an amendment would make sense if we are to guarantee our wild places and species for future generations. The failed Australian experiment of conservation through neglect – called “protection” – and the practice of “lock it up and leave it” have to end.

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