NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has moved to assure the public that hunters won't be allowed to use silencers in national parks.The state government is being called on to release maps of all the parkland it's proposing as hunting area, including Zone C where shooters will be allowed unsupervised.
Zone A and B will be controlled and directed by National Parks staff.
"Rangers are anxious to know which parts of their parks will be opened to unaccompanied hunters," said Public Service Association (PSA) general secretary Anne Gardiner.
She said rangers had been told most of the total national parkland opened to amateur hunters would be classified Zone C.
There were also reports rangers will have nothing other than high-vis vests to protect them.
"The PSA will consider directing its members not to enter any national park with a Zone C area as their safety cannot be guaranteed," Ms Gardiner said.
Adults will be allowed to shoot feral animals in 79 national parks from May as part of a deal the NSW government struck in return for the backing of the Shooters and Fishers Party for its power privatisation bill.
Mr O'Farrell yesterday rejected claims he was also considering a Shooters and Fishers' proposal, contained in a leaked draft assessment, to allow licensed shooters and hunters to use sound moderators on their guns.
The silencers help prevent hearing damage and reduce recoil and noise pollution.
But National Parks Association of NSW campaign co-ordinator Justin McKee says they also remove people's awareness.
Opposition environment spokesman Luke Foley said the fact silencers were considered in the draft risk assessment report proved the hunting program had become a farce.
"There's one simple solution here. Mr O'Farrell can abandon this very bad policy of opening our national parks to amateur hunters," he told reporters in Sydney.
He said the report also confirmed Environment Minister Robyn Parker was "not up to the job" of managing the rollout of the program.
Mr O'Farrell flatly rejected the move.
"There will be no change to the regulation of silencers to allow for the operation of pest eradication measures in national parks," he said in a statement.
In parliament yesterday, Greens MP David Shoebridge presented a petition of almost 1000 signatures against a Game Council proposal to allow children as young as 12 to shoot unsupervised in state forests.
"The audacity of the hunting lobby's push for a gun culture in NSW is matched only by the resistance of the general public," Mr Shoebridge said.