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Save Our National Parks

By Pearl Bullivant on August 12, 2012 in Other

Photo: Still Music Photography

Pearl spends a lot of her ‘online life’ signing petitions: petitions against animal cruelty; petitions against human rights abuses; petitions against environmental vandalism. If it’s in cyberspace, Pearl has signed it. Rather than checking my diary for the date of the next protest rally, I’m checking my email for yet another request to send ‘my personal message’ to a government minister who doesn’t really care what Pearl Bullivant wants or thinks. Which brings me to the question, is online protesting truly effective?

The young, intelligent leaders of ‘mouse-click activism’ assure us that the new generation of online protest tools are far more powerful and more effective than any rally can be. The voice of millions can be harnessed in just one email or SMS – look at Egypt! But has mouse-click activism been successful in Australia, a nation of people more than happy to see our environment destroyed for the sake of the economy, high paying jobs and 4WD aspirations?

Australians don’t seem to care that the Great Barrier Reef is slowly being destroyed by two greedy magnates whose taste for money far outweighs any thought for the existence of threatened species. Australians don’t care that Broome and Coral Bay, two of the most beautiful areas in Australia, are to be home to offshore gas mining, effectively destroying rare fossils and the livelihood of long-term rural residents. If the Franklin River was threatened with damming in 2012, would it be saved? Would today’s trade union movement impose green bans on Hunters Hill and Paddington? No way. Instead, they are supporting the construction of an ugly development in Rozelle that imposes on the flight path and the lives of the community. If online protesting is working, where’s the outrage?

Pearl may not have the same pulling power as mouse-click activists, but this month I’m confronting apathy by taking my own crusade to this column, the reason being that I want readers of The Beast to be outraged and to protest against Barry O’Farrell’s deal with the Shooters Party, which allows recreational shooting in our National Parks, albeit sanctioned by God in the form of Fred Nile.

The ‘Big BO’ doesn’t look like the type of guy who would go bushwalking, but I’m angry that my favourite leisure activity is being threatened by 150,000 fringe dwellers who get their cheap thrills from shooting living creatures.

Pearl wants direct action so I’m imploring The Beast’s hipster readers to reclaim our National Parks by getting into them and making bushwalking the latest fashion trend to appear in (the) Sydney Magazine. Get out of Westfield, tear the kids away from the Nintendo DS, put those Range Rovers and off-road prams to legitimate use and go hiking in ‘The Royal’ (one must use a trendy moniker; ‘The Nasho’ will also suffice). Make ‘free range parenting’ a reality, rather than a trendy catch-cry uttered over a homeopathic remedy and a glass of unpasteurised milk. Get your children trekking and taking real risks – an illegally constructed tree house on the verge has nothing on bushwalking! And for those high-maintenance yummy mummies who’d rather be ensconced in a trendy cafe or yoga class, just imagine the plethora of imported, high-end walking attire you can spend your husband’s obscene salary on, all in the name of saving the environment.

As much as it pains Pearl to see National Parks become trendy venues for hipster families, I feel so strongly about this issue that I’m willing to sacrifice my own comfort and enjoyment by sharing bush tracks with pink princesses and pork-pie hatted yummy daddies. Leave the dog, bugaboo, stilettos and latte-to-go at home and show Barry O’Farrell that National Parks are for trendies, not bogans with guns.

Pearl xx


  1. I think this is madness. America has proven that people can’t be trusted with guns.
    Lets leave it to government bodies to cull feral animals & keep guns restricted to people who are employed to use them.

    If you want to go hunting go fishing.

    Posted by: Melissa Warland | August 13, 2012, 11:02 AM |

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  2. Hi Pearl
    I really cant see a problem with allowing hunters into our state forests. have you ever walked through a state forest before? have you seen the amount of damage the introduced vermin do to the local wildlife and habitat. Wild Boar and feral cats are a great example of this, they are spreading like wildfire eating everything in there paths.
    I am not a shooter by the way but I do spend a lot of time in the State Forests, wether it be camping, hiking, fishing or mountain climbing.
    Whoops I mentioned fishing, spose that makes me the bad guy now!
    Sorry but I”ve witnessed Bondi Mermaids a complete Ban on recreational fishing in the Eastern Suburbs beaches at the Bondi council AGM meetings then proceed to the Sushi train for a feed straight after. What a bunch of pathetic people! they want to eat hamburgers and sushi but dont care where it comes from.
    I say clean your own act up before jumping down other peoples throats for wanting to eradicate vermin in our national parks. Why would I want to stand behind the Mermaids, Julia Gillard and her greenie henchmen when all they seem to do is lie about everything and twist the true facts to gain an emotional response rather than a factual one. reminds me of PEW who used a documentry about our diggers who fought for the Coral Sea to try and ban all forms of recreational fishing from the Coral Sea. Those diggers fought to Keep the Coral Sea open, not to have us locked out, my Grandfather who fought in that war would be turning in his grave.
    Sorry Pearl
    I can appreciate your passionate nature but dont really agree with you on this one.
    Alex from Clovelly

    Posted by: Alex | August 13, 2012, 2:32 PM |

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  3. I’m a wee bit scared to go into the National Park that borders my weekender, no, I’m not scared of breaking a heel (I wear gum boots), I’m scared of the dogs. No, I’m not scared of the Cavoodles from the Eastern suburbs breaking out of the Land Rovers, I’m scared of the packs of wild dogs that have bread up in perfect breeding weather over the last few lush Summers in the Blue Mountains.

    The Blue Mountains?! I hear you say, in disbelief, well, the foothills actually. No one, I mean anyone, seems to be aware that our timid (mostly) Dingoes have bred up with other wild dogs. Where did these wild dogs come from? Well, mostly from shooter and locals who live near the parklands who don’t care about the whereabouts of their dogs. Shooters (especially pig shootin’ types) use dogs to go ‘piggin’ and sometimes the dog/s don’t return to their ‘masters’.

    So we have a problem, dogs trained to attack pigs (and by chance all other wildlife) breeding with dingos, create a pack and you have a gang of roaming destroyers. Destroyers of wildlife, and if you happen to live near the National Parks, destroyers / killers of everything else.

    I used to keep 4 friendly alpacas as zen happy animals that keep the grass down, but not anymore. A year ago a pack of the roaming wild dogs half at a male ‘guardian’s’ rump off, vet and care and he magically recovered, but then 4 weeks after he was nearly 100%, the dogs came back, and this time they put a piece of his body in every corner or the paddock, a scene from Braveheart comes to mind with him being hung, drawn and quartered. You get the picture. We were advised when we rang the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, to remove the remaining 3 alpacas, or they would be picked off one by one.

    We had to change our plans of what we could have on our farm, no sheep, no calves, no foals, no alpacas, no goats, no small breed cows, no small breed anything.

    If the shooters return to our National parks, I assume they’re not allowed to take with them their pigging dogs? Will they shoot the feral pigs, goats, dogs ? who knows?
    Perhaps the Government should employ professionals to cull our feral problem and not leave it up to a group of unknown, untrained novices?

    I pay a fee every year for the control of pests and feral animals, what do I get for that fee? to be told to remove my animals or the National Parks and State Land wild dogs will kill them. Something needs to be done, and it isn’t letting a bunch of untrained shooters in, then I’ll be too scared to go out side, not just the dogs will get me, but the stray bullets will too!!

    This problem extends from Queensland and runs all the way down The Great Diving Range, where wild dogs roam free and unchecked.

    Help our farmers.

    Posted by: AngieScared | August 13, 2012, 5:25 PM |

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  4. Sorry for the typos above. Multitasking doesn’t always work well. I should have ignored the phone and howling of the Wild dogs outside!

    Posted by: AngieScared | August 13, 2012, 5:28 PM |

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  5. Hi Pearl.
    Shame on you for deleting my comment.
    You’ve made it very clear that you have no interest in anyone’s views/ comments other than your own.
    The only magazine you should be writing articles for is MAD magazine cause people like yourself make me laugh out loud.

    Posted by: Alex | August 13, 2012, 5:38 PM |

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    • Nothing deleted Alex. Just not yet approved. BTW, Pearl does not moderate the comments, I do.

      Posted by: Dan Hutton | August 13, 2012, 5:43 PM |

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  6. Lol sorry
    Pearl I apologies (I honestly thought it had been deleted and that you were moderating the comments, my bad)
    I also agree 100% with Angie, dogs shouldn’t be allowed in national parks to hunt with.
    I can understand a farmer needing hunting/pig dogs, I have been on large sheep farms/stations that loose up to 120 sheep a year to wil boar
    I don’t agree with her statement about all hunters being untrained mindless killers, the hunters that I know are very responsible people who have been hunting since a very early age. Australians are nothing like the Americans! We cant go down to our local quickie mart to buy ammunition, if you buy a rifle it is subject to police inspection, and the police can come to your house unnanounced to inspect were you keep the weapon. Our gun laws a far more strict than other countries. Thank god for that.
    Farmers pay big money every year to have the vermin culled, government pay big money every year to pro hunters to do the work for them.
    Why not allow them to hunt in our state forests, it would save the government and us tax payers a lot of money and keep the. Vermin population down, so in reality your killing 2 birds with one stone.
    This may be a silly idea but just my opinion. Why not have it so if a hunter is going to hunt in a State Forest they have to register with the governing body the dates they will be hunting there, the area they will be hunting and the rifles they will be using and the amount of hunters that will be with them.

    Posted by: Alex | August 14, 2012, 8:13 AM |

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