SHOOTERS will be allowed to hunt in national parks under a deal between the government and Shooters Party to allow the sale of NSW’s electricity generators.
The deal to pass legislation in the upper house – reaping $3 billion to $4 billion – will mean much-needed funds will be used to pay for a major road such as the M5 duplication.
Premier Barry O’Farrell has also promised the Shooters and Christian Democrats that he will investigate lifting their electoral funding and promised he will consider allowing shooters to kill more game birds on private property.
The government will allow feral animals to be shot at 79 of the state’s 799 national parks, including Barrington Tops, Myall Lakes and Kosciuszko.
The Premier said there would be no shooting allowed near ski fields or in parks near metropolitan areas.
But the Shooters Party deal signalled an opportunity lost to pass a sale of the $15 billion electricity poles and wires.
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“For that bit of pain they could have sold the lot. That was what (Infrastructure NSW boss) Nick Greiner was telling them from the start,” a government source said yesterday.
With the Premier’s agreement, the Shooters will ask a parliamentary inquiry to consider upping the administration costs paid to minor parties from $80,000 to $150,000 per member of parliament, for parties with up to four MPs. It is understood they want this paid in advance.
Mr O’Farrell said of the deal yesterday: “It is about unlocking the proceeds of our generation assets in order to invest in the infrastructure that is critical to get the state’s economy back on track.
“We have to live with the parliament the people of NSW gave us, and our bigger public interest test here is to unlock the asset value to … deliver the infrastructure needed.”
The Shooters and unions convinced Treasurer Mike Baird and Mr O’Farrell to guarantee employment for workers at the generators for four years.