Media Release


Released 6/7/2012

Passive Recreation in National Parks under Serious Threat by Actions of the NSW Government

Commenting on the passing of legislation in the NSW Parliament to allow recreational hunters to shoot in national parks the President of Bushwalking Australia David Reid said today,“The action by the NSW Government in passing of legislation to allow hunters to shoot in national parks supposedly to cull feral animals is a serious threat to passive recreation in parks and reserves.

“We support the removal/reduction of feral animals from natural areas. However we have not seen any evidence, based on good science, that allowing recreational shooters into parks is the best way to deal with this issue”.

“Furthermore in this case we don’t think the government is really serious because the Premier in his press release has effectively admitted that this action was purely a deal with the shooters party so that he could secure the passing of legislation related to the sale of state owned electricity generation assets”.

“It leaves us with a clear impression that the decision was based on political expediency rather than on good science based conservation management practice”.

“Our view is that this is just the thin line end of the wedge” said Mr Reid.

“We are aware that the hunting fraternity have already made other representations to the government to allow recreational hunting of other species (some of them native) such as ducks and quail”.

“Where will it end? This sort of action has the potential to create a fear of serious injury amongst passive park users not to mention discouraging people from undertaking activities that are consistent with the values of parks and reserves that are embedded in the National Parks Act”.

pdfPolicy Statement-Shooting in-Parks77.82 KB

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New Trip Intentions Website

Peter Campbell, the convenor of Bush Search and Rescue and a friend of his have developed an online Trip Intentions Form. Peter got the idea for this site when preparing for a day walk in Tasmania when he realised that if he downloaded, printed and completed a PDF version of a trip intentions form, he didn't have anyone to leave it with. Peter's online version provides a facility to send your Trip Intentions to people you nominate to act as your contacts, which is good practice for any trip in the wilderness or outdoors. You can also print your completed Trip Intentions form (just before you submit it) then distribute hard copies and also leave a copy in your vehicle.

This service is provided free of charge in the interests of improved safety for outdoors and wilderness trips and adventures. The address of the site is



Bushwalking Australia endorses the Australian Greenways Declaration at the 2011 Track & Trails Conference in Sydney

The sixth National Tracks and Trails Conference, with its primary theme of "The Business of Trails" concluded on Friday 2 September at Sydney Olympic Park.

Delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and the UK came together over three days to define current and future practice in the tracks and trails sector.

In so doing, the Conference resolved to endorse the Australian Greenways Declaration 2011, and to seek in-principle support from the Commonwealth Government to recognise the Declaration, setting direction to progress formal recognition of greenways through the establishment of the Australian National Greenways Consultative Committee and the preparation of an Australian Greenways Discussion Paper.

A greenway refers to land and water ways that are set aside as a public corridor, able to be used as a trail for recreational, transport, health and tourism activities. Disused rail corridors are one example of greenways that have been effectively developed in some states.

"Of increasing importance is the accessibility and development of greenways across metropolitan, peri-urban and regional Australia. The Commonwealth and many state governments are increasingly seeking a more sustainable development protocol that encourages cycling, walking and other recreational activities as a means of mitigating the crippling cost of sedentary lifestyle disease, congestion and greenhouse emissions.

"Greenway networks integrate existing and potential local/state assets that work to provide a cost effective solution to increase the community's level of physical activity" said conference convenor Christian Haag, CEO of Bicycle SA.

This Australian Greenways Declaration 2011 provides a national statement about the value of greenways for Australia and our communities and seeks in-principle support from the Commonwealth Government to recognise the Declaration, setting direction to progress formal recognition of and access to greenways.

"It is vital that the Commonwealth gets engaged, as other national governments of major countries including USA, UK and Europe have already. Investing in greenways is an investment in our community's future health" said Trails Australia Working Group Member, Julie Fiedler.

The 'business of trails' within our community continues to grow and is expected to continue. Australia has some of the most iconic trail experiences in the world with tourism spend in our national and state parks alone exceeding $16 billion per year.

pdfAustralian Greenways Declaration 2011198.08 KB



Biosecurity Threat - Myrtle Rust in QLD National Parks

'A serious new threat to our native vegetation may impact on bushwalking club activities.

Myrtle Rust affects the Myrtaceae family of plants which dominates most Australian forests and woodlands, and is the second largest plant family in Queensland with 601 native species. This family includes eucalypts, bloodwoods, bottlebrushes, paperparks, tea trees, lilly pillies and water gums.

Myrtle Rust has already been discovered in Lamington and Kondalilla National Parks.

Bushwalkers are asked to clean all their equipment, clothing and particularly hats before venturing into the bush. If a site is discovered, don't touch it but photograph the affected plants and report the location.'

Report all suspect plants immediately to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.

For more information click on

Bushwalking Queensland (Inc)



Crawford Report: "How about a Fair Go for Non Competitive Recreation"

"For too long, Australians have been encouraged to sit on their bums watching a few overpaid elite sportsmen on their wide-screen TVs. Whether it's the once in four years Olympics extravaganza, or the weekly fix of rugby or AFL brawling, elite and big-business sport has for too long hogged the trough of public funding, while the rest of the nation gets fatter and lazier," said David Reid, President of Bushwalking Australia.

David continued: "Bushwalking Australia welcomes the Crawford Report on the "Future of Australian Sport". For the most part, it's far reaching recommendations are spot on. The main concern is that the panel's recommendations did not suggest including active recreation within the definition of sport. This is in spite of a very clear view expressed in submissions and by witnesses that the; 'ASC definition of sport is too narrow in focus and is, in fact, designed to exclude certain activities simply because they are not physical or competitive in nature.'
A second concern is that the report fails to distinguish activities that are capable of being self-funding by virtue of spectator appeal, or who are able to recover costs of organization and infrastructure through membership or the turn-stile. In that regard, we have sympathy for sports like canoeing that only receive funding under the present system because they also happen to be Olympic sports"
We suggest that the following principles should apply to the allocation of sport funding:

  • That the ASC definition of sport should be expanded to include non-competitive recreation
  • Funding should be provided for the primary purpose of creating a healthier and fitter population. The development of elites should be a secondary consideration.
  • Talent identification should be primarily done by providing the broadest possible opportunities for participation and experience. It should be a bottom up process to encourage people to develop their talent to the maximum level possible. It should not be a top-down process to exclude all those unable to reach the elite level.
  • Sports without the capacity to generate funds internally though spectators, advertising, broadcast rights, membership or by charging for access to closed venues should be given extra consideration.

Read Bushwalking Australia's pdfSubmission to the Federal Independent Review of Sport90.69 KB