Jun 10, 2014

NSW shooters bring out federal big guns in parkland battle

A stretch of parkland south-east of Sydney has become a federal political hot potato, with an incoming senator promising to block the budget unless it is given to the rifle club. Crikey writers Paddy Manning and Melanie Garrick report.

It’s rare for local planning issues to gain national prominence, but the fate of Malabar headland, 11 kilometres south-east of the Sydney CBD and home to the Anzac Rifle Range, is a saga to rival the city’s second airport.

Incoming Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm, a keen shooter, has weighed into the debate, telling Crikey this morning he would use his influence in the upper house to push for security of tenure for the NSW Rifle Association, which runs the range at Malabar, in line with recent comments he made to The Sydney Morning Herald about looming budget negotiations.

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11 thoughts on “NSW shooters bring out federal big guns in parkland battle

  1. Graeski

    Look all you Lefties – the Second Amendment of our Bill of Rights makes it quite clear that we have an inalienable right to bare arms …so let’s all get this Commie talk of national parks off the agenda, ok?

  2. Bizzybags

    An unfair assessment of the scale of the history and the situation on the ground.

    Firstly, while the SSAA supports hunting, the activities at Malabar were not hunting. Shooters there took part in supervised target competition and practice, which some of the disciplines go to the National and International level.

    More broadly, target shooting at the discipline in question has been active for 150 years and goes to the Commonwealth games level. We are not asking for special privileges or money, but to be allowed to continue without harassment. In shooter’s terms, you are asking to shut down the SCG to build a hotel.

    Even on that count, i have heard that the NSWRA is comfortable with moving if suitable alternative facilities could be offered, something not considered by the previous government.

  3. SusieQ

    And this chap is threatening to hold up a federal budget over this?? Unbelievable.

  4. Itsarort

    I’m a member of SSAA and I’m a target shooter 99.99% of the time. Thanks to Howard, I have to have TWO (?) genuine reasons to own a gun so hunting is my second genuine reason. If this area isn’t a rifle range, potentially for all to use, by hook or by crook, it will end up as private use only – National Parks(?), yeah right, pull the other one…!

  5. AR

    The consolidation of the coastline is unarguable but there is that pesky problem of legal rights, a century of them.
    Let us hope that Senator Lleyonhjelm takes an interest in Senator Muir’s career when they are both ensconced in the big House under the Hill.
    I think that they would be a natural alliance for sense & sensibiliity.

  6. fractious

    I was about to mention that much of the vegetation at Malabar Headland is Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (a Critically Endangered Ecological Community) and that there were reliable sightings of Eastern Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus wallicus a year or two back, then go on a rant about why ecology always comes stone motherless last in all these sorts of disputes. Then I remembered Fatty O ‘arrell’s deals with the Shooters Party that let lots of people into national parks to shoot their guns at ‘ferals’ (the Shooters Party are deeply concerned about thenvironmen doncherknow, much like loggers are the best conservationists I suppose), and I realised I was being a selfish tree-hugging greenie and should stfu and be grateful.

  7. Bizzybags

    The range has been there for over 100 years, likely longer that the environment destroying urban sprawl surrounding has been.

    Much of the scrub on the headland has been protected precisely because of the range, the danger template itself protects from development over large parts of the headland. The range is not expanding, there are no proposals to expand the range, yet some think it is a good idea to let hundreds of thousands of people march through the bush.

    I don’t know what people what here, chuck out participants in one of our elite national sports to build golf courses?

  8. Andrew McIntosh

    Why is shooting things so important? What catastrophe is going to happen if people can’t shoot things?

    I don’t know, maybe one day I’ll get to shoot something with a rifle and feel the magic.

  9. JohnB

    The ground rules for this discussion have been determined.

    On one hand, we have the “I want what I want because I have always got what I want” crowd.

    The other side has feelings and ethics and community spirit and stuff like that. Bloody lefties!

  10. Bizzybags

    Andrew M, it is simply a sport, like football, soccer, rugby and golf. I don’t like league but I’m not campaigning to get the sport shut down. I would encourage you to come down and have a try, even if you don’t like it, it would help to understand the physical and mental challenge involved, as well as the professionalism of the participants.

    JohnB agree entirely, a 150 year old community of mates and competitors, the only sport where men and women compete on equal terms, verses the encroachment of urban development and soulless millionaires mansions.

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