After a long delay, the new Game and Pest Management Advisory Board for New South Wales has been appointed.
Eight members have been appointed by the Minister for Agriculture through to 2025.
The Advisory Board was established in the wake of the disbandment of the Game Council New South Wales as a means of continuing a level of representation of stakeholders in decision making.
Whilst there are some excellent, skills-based appointments to this board, there are some which are, as is to be expected, transparently political.
The functions of the Advisory Board are:
To represent the interests of licensed game hunters in matters arising under this act
To provide advice on request to the Minister or the DPI on game and feral animal control
To provide advice on request to the Minister on priorities for expenditure on research from the Game and Pest Management Trust Fund
To provide advice to the Minister or the DPI on education courses related to game hunting.
The Game and Pest Management Trust Fund relies on a share of the proceeds from Game Licencing – since the New South Wales Government’s decision to significantly reduce the need for licencing, under the guise of enabling more wildlife control, the level of funds for the Advisory Board to advise on has diminished considerably.
The Board members are:
Emeritus Professor Robert Mulley (Chairperson)
Dr Justin Clarke
Profiles of the board members:
Emeritus Professor Robert Mulley (Chairman)
Working from the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Western Sydney, Emeritus Professor Robert Mulley is a leader amongst wildlife management scientists and has written over 150 scientific publications. His expert knowledge in agriculture, vertebrate pest management, wildlife management and sustainable land use has been recognised nationally and internationally.
E/Prof Mulley is a current member of the NSW Animal Research Review Panel, Chair of the NSW Kangaroo Management Advisory Panel and a former member of the NSW Biosecurity Advisory Committee. He has also recently held positions on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Zoo Biology, the Victorian Hunting Advisory Committee, as Chair of the NSW Board of Studies Primary Industries Examination Committee and as a representative on the Australian Wildlife Health Network Management Committee. E/Prof Mulley is an active recreational hunter and enjoys spending time hunting with his two sons.
As the Ecology Discipline Lead for Kleinfelder Australia Pty Ltd and with 18 years of experience in environmental and heritage management, Andrew provides consultancy advice on ecology and wildlife management including invasive pest species for a range of public and private clients in NSW and Australia. Andrew was most recently the Project Manager for the $16 million Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Project and delivered the successful eradication of Yellow Crazy Ants in suburban Darwin. He also authored the Biosecurity and Overabundant Native Species Guidelines for the Department of Defence.
Before becoming a consultant, Andrew worked for a number of years as a Supervising Quarantine and Exports Inspector for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, where duties included practical on the ground prevention, detection and management of a variety of invasive pest species and diseases in Australia and overseas. Andrew grew up on a beef cattle property, has actively hunted his entire life and understands the importance a well-educated and regulated game hunting industry in managing introduced pests and over abundant native species for a healthy agriculture sector and ecosystem.
A regional landholder, retired school teacher and manager of her husband's medical practice, Christine is highly skilled in pest animal management and education. With one property bordering a National Park, she is uniquely placed to understand the needs of both landholders and hunters and to facilitate an ethical and cultural partnership between the two.
A hunter for over forty years, both out of necessity on her properties and recreationally around Australia and overseas, Mrs Hall is a champion for sustainable use and informed concern for the natural world. A founding member of the Safari Club International Down Under Chapter and Three Rivers Big Game Hunting Club, past competitor in SSAA Big Game Rifle Club competitions and a former member of the Emmaville Regional Shooting Complex Committee, she is an active member of the Inverell community and is conscious of the values and needs of rural NSW.
Dan Field is a founding member of the South Coast Hunters Club and the current president. A keen outdoorsman all his life, he has been a hunter for over fifty years in Australia and overseas. Dan hunts mainly with muzzleloader or black powder cartridge and has worked as both a hunting and fishing guide in Australia.
Growing up in regional NSW he understands the needs of landholders, hunters and small hunting clubs. Dan looks forward to working on the Game and Pest Management Advisory Board representing the interests of licensed hunters to the Minister.
A retired project management professional, accredited workplace trainer and assessor and thirty-five year veteran of the IT and telecommunications industries, David Voss has led several award-winning teams through the implementation of projects for the Australian Defence Forces, AFP and other national agencies.
Growing up in rural NSW, David has been an active hunter all his life. He shot the first fox taken under an R licence in NSW, contributed to the NSW Wild Deer Management Strategy working group and is a member of the ACT Firearms Advisory Committee.
In his role as Chairman of the Australian Deer Association over seven years, Mr Voss was responsible for the development of a number of initiatives involving hunters as part of integrated wildlife management programs, advocating for access to public land for hunting and hunter education. David brings a national perspective to the Board.
Dr Justin Clarke
A registered veterinary surgeon of more than 25 years and with a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management, Dr Justin Clarke is currently the Animal Welfare Officer for Macquarie University, a Veterinary Ecologist with Wildlife and Veterinary Ecology Services at Nowra on the NSW South Coast and an Associate Researcher with the Marine Predators Research Group at Macquarie University. Dr Clarke has a particular interest in animal welfare and wildlife health.
Dr Clarke was the Deputy Chair of the National Parks and Wildlife Service South Coast Region Advisory Committee for nearly 10 years and is a Category A member of the University of Technology Sydney Animal Care and Ethics Committee. Dr Clarke brings a wealth of experience in wildlife veterinary science and research to the Board.
Rob Costello is a cattle grazier from the Walcha region of the Northern Tablelands where he runs his family’s stud and commercial cattle enterprise. Mr Costello’s interest in stud cattle breeding, genetics and sustainable land management has led to a wealth of experience accumulated over the last 30 years. Recognition of biosecurity and economic threats has been at the forefront of developing his interest in pest animal management and hunting.
Mr Costello’s role as President of the Moona-Winterbourne Wild Dog Control Association has seen him involved in numerous advisory panels and planning groups aimed at developing plans to control vertebrate pests. Mr Costello is a keen hunter and his love of breeding and training dogs has driven his interest in using dogs to hunt pigs and identify wild dog sign in the landscape.
Mr Costello is a passionate advocate for educating youth in agriculture and legal hunting practices, including hunting with dogs.
Leading the largest firearms peak association and Approved Hunting Organisation in NSW, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA NSW), Mr Rowell also serves on the National Board of the SSAA and has a keen interest in conservation and wildlife projects.
Mr Rowell provides expertise in policy formulation across all levels of Government, with an extensive career in government as an Advisor and later a Chief of Staff in Federal Government and having served as a Member of Parliament, Minister for Mental Health and Assistant Health Minister in NSW. Mr Rowell also has extensive experience in Local Government and is a Fellow of Law at Western Sydney University.
In his capacity as CEO of SSAA NSW, Mr Rowell is a strong advocate for the contributions of well-trained volunteer law-abiding licensed shooters and hunters as a valuable resource towards pest animal management, supporting SSAA led initiatives such as Farmer Assist and other initiatives and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the Supplementary Pest Control Program. Ethical hunting is at the heart of SSAA NSW with many conservation and wildlife management projects underway.