A SHOOTERS Party bill to expand duck hunting in NSW has been passed by the state's upper house.MPs in the Legislative Council passed the bill today to overhaul the licensing system for duck hunting by a vote of 21 to 18.
The legislation would make the Game Council the sole authority for granting duck hunting licenses in the state, stripping the National Parks and Wildlife Service of its current role in the process.
During the debate, the opposition's environment spokesman Luke Foley said Labor supported the current system of hunting by farmers for pest mitigation, but the Shooters bill was "a bridge too far".
"If recreational shooters play a part in a legitimate mitigation effort, we don't see a problem with that," Mr Foley told the upper house today.
"(But) It ought to be regulated - there ought to be balance.
"We don't believe the regulatory arrangements contemplated by (the Shooters Party) are balanced, in giving everything to the Game Council. That is clearly unbalanced. We cannot support that."
The upper house also passed government amendments to the bill, including the creation of a new Game Bird Management Committee responsible for setting quotas and determining what species of bird can be hunted and where.
Shooters Party MP Robert Brown said the bill - which will now go to a vote in the state's lower house - would simply remove the red tape involved with the current licensing system.
Greens MP John Kaye blasted the government for backing the duck hunting bill in return for the Shooters' vote on its ports privatisation bill, which passed through parliament late last night.
"This is a government that will go to the next polls with everybody knowing it does not care about animal welfare," Dr Kaye told parliament.
"It is absolutely happy to trade off animal welfare in order to get its legislation through this chamber."