Charges for former Game Council chief

Former acting chief executive of the NSW Game Council, Greg McFarland, has been charged with offences relating to illegal hunting and trespassing.

On April 5 Mr McFarland and Game Council volunteer, Edward Hoogenboom, were charged with a total of 17 offences stemming from an incident in which they allegedly killed a feral goat on a remote property south of Cobar.

Police in Orange confiscated firearms from the homes of the men, and the Darling River Local Area Command issued a statement which said that both men’s firearms licences have been suspended.”

The matters are due to go before the Cobar Local court on May 16.

News of the charges are a blow to the Game Council who have been under considerable scrutiny since the allegations surfaced in January.

The organisation was to have overseen the introduction of hunting in NSW national parks until Premier Barry O’Farrell ordered a review of their governance.

Last year Mr O’Farrell announced 77 national parks and reserves would be opened for amateur hunting of feral animals under a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party.

The contentious program was due to begin in March, but a risk assessment process had delayed its start date until June at the earliest.

In March the Premier told Parliament that he received a report about illegal activity by one Game Council employee as well as a volunteer.

Senior public servant, Steve Dunn, is reviewing the Game Council’s governance in order to ensure they are undertaking an appropriate role under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act.
SAM WORRAD