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Residents Object to Shooting
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Bundeena Feral Deer
A group of Bundeena residents have submitted a petition to Sutherland Shire Council requesting to cease the shooting of deer in residential areas.

By Pia Robinson

Sutherland Shire Council (SSC) , together with NPWS, has embarked on a shooting programme to cull feral animals. During 2007, SSC wrote to Bundeena residents to announce this programme. Many residents report that they did not receive this letter. SSC sent a further letter to residents on August 5th, 2008, although once again, many residents say that they did not get it.

In these letters SSC advised that it, together with NPWS, is culling feral species by shooting at Bundeena Oval and at “several other locations”. SSC advise that these activities are conducted between Monday and Thursday, “late at night or early in the morning”.

This shooting activity has been observed by residents as taking place at the Oval, Bonnie Vale, the top of Eric St and behind Woodfield Avenue. Earlier in the year complaints were lodged with SSC by several residents who witnessed shooting just after 9.30 pm behind Club Bundee on a Thursday night, in the rain and when the club was both open and busy.

Many residents are concerned that this activity is unacceptably dangerous. This is for many reasons including the following:

  • There are residents who move around the community at night and early in the morning (such as kids walking between Bundeena and Maianbar).
  • SSC highlights the fact that the shooters are “trained professional”. We believe that human error is quite possible when shooting is in such close proximity to houses,
  • Residents  have noted a sharp increase in the number of illegal shooters coming to the area and lurking in areas of the park very close to houses on the fringe of the town. They believe that the SSC/  NPWS programme is providing cover for these shooters. SSC recommend that Sutherland Police be called in these instances. Residents feel that our distance from Sutherland makes it difficult for Sutherland Police to respond to these events in a timely fashion.

As a result of the above concerns the following Petition was sent to SSC on September 16th, together with 107 signatures. Further signatures will be sought in the coming weeks for submission to SSC.

PETITION TO SUTHERLAND SHIRE COUNCIL

September 10, 2008

We, the undersigned, residents of Bundeena, wish to protest in the strongest terms the Council’s policy on “Control of Pest Species” with regard to the “Ground Shooting of Feral Deer”. Our objections are based on the following points:

  • shooting takes place in dangerous proximity to residential areas. Stray bullets could easily penetrate local houses, while residents and their families moving around after dark are placed at serious risk of harm.
  • the legal cull provides cover for illegal shooters. There are regular and repeated incidents of illegal shooting in and around Bundeena. Apart from rifles, weapons used include crossbows and semi-automatic weapons. In the absence of a constant police presence in Bundeena, the residents can do little to protect themselves.

We would ask the Council to cease implementing this policy immediately.
 

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