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WA head of the Sports Shooters Association Ron Bryant unhappy about the new licensing arrangements. Picture: Steve Ferrier. The West Australian. 23rd Dec 2009. FAIRFAX ONLINE OUT.
The West Australian WA head of the Sports Shooters Association Ron Bryant unhappy about the new licensing arrangements. Picture: Steve Ferrier. The West Australian. 23rd Dec 2009. FAIRFAX ONLINE OUT.

Hunters are pushing for access to WA's national parks to provide a "service to the environment" by shooting feral animals.

Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA president Ron Bryant said allowing professional shooters to hunt pests on Department of Environment and Conservation land would stop the animals damaging national parks and help native fauna reclaim their habitat.

"There's big opportunities for us to help but there seems to be a lack of desire to allow that to happen," Mr Bryant said.

"What they have done in NSW has completely cleared out the feral animals that are doing a world of damage to the pristine national parks.

"It has improved the quality of parklands by making it a far better experience."

Mr Bryant said the association had already handed a proposal to the State Government. "It's not just open slather," he said.

"It's very controlled, it's targeted and it's providing a very, very good service.

"Many of the other States have been quick to realise that shooters can actually do a really good community service and they're utilising that service."

It is illegal to use a firearm in a WA national park unless a shooter has a special licence.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the DEC had worked with the association in the past to control feral animals in some national parks while they were closed. Mr Marmion said though the work had been successful, he did not propose to change the current arrangements.

Concerns have been raised about a plan by the NSW Government to allow amateur hunters access to some national parks under strict conditions.

The NSW Opposition claims lives will be put at risk and tourism will suffer under the plan, which is due to be rolled out in March.

'It's very controlled, it's targeted and it's providing a very, very good service.'"Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA president *Ron Bryant *