A MEETING of Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla (SAFE) in Dalmeny on Sunday decided to mount an ongoing campaign to end the display of firearms at the Narooma HuntFest.
About 60 people gathered to hear concerned citizens express their alarm about HuntFest being held in Narooma and expanded this year to include the display of weapons with a number of apologies lodged.
There was a strong feeling at the meeting that the encouragement of a shooting culture in Narooma is completely at odds with our tourism marketing of Eurobodalla as a natural wildlife sanctuary.
Speakers detailed a wide range of concerns including claims that enjoyment of the killing of animals is an appropriate “sport” for children.
Many people expressed their worry that these types of events promote a gun culture in Australia similar to what exists in America with its resultant disturbing number of daily deaths from weapons.
A number of people expressed their disappointment to councillor Gabi Harding that Eurobodalla Shire Council seems to be supporting this event without proper consultation with the community for such an emotional and contentious issue.
Clr Harding asked what the benefits were to the shire and tourism operators, particularly given the negative impacts on our clean, green tourism image.
She didn’t believe that council was aware of the real motivation or origin of this event when they approved it or the far reaching consequences of their decision.
People questioned the NSW Game Council support for the event given that the NSW Government abolished the Council last year following the highly critical Dunn Review into the Council’s governance.
Moves to dismantle gun laws in Australia and undo the effects of the Howard Government buyback of guns following the Port Arthur Massacre also raised serious concerns.
A decision to undertake a co-ordinated campaign to ban the display of firearms at the HuntFest was wholeheartedly supported by all present and many would like that extended to end the event altogether. Many strategies to achieve these objectives were discussed at the meeting with further meetings planned for the future.
Further information about the SAFE campaign can be found at www.safe.websyte.com.au and anyone with concerns about Narooma HuntFest can contact SAFE at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Arms Fair Eurobodalla Committee