Animals in the Wild Photographic Exhibition runs parallel to Huntfest Arms Fair in Narooma!
The Greens announced in 2015 that the Animals in the Wild photographic competition which began in 2014 will happen annually to encourage people to shoot with a camera not a gun.
The competition is part of the Greens campaign against recreational hunting, and in particular the Sporting Shooters Association arms fair ‘Huntfest’ which has been held in Narooma over the June long weekend since 2013.
In 2015 the Animals in the Wild competition received almost 300 entries from across the country.
Despite Huntfest being originally approved as a photographic exhibition, its licence has been amended to allow its operation as a fully-fledged arms fair. The Greens have called on the Minister for Crown Lands to refuse consent to Huntfest’s licence extension after 2017 and listen to the overwhelming views of the Eurobodalla community.
Greens Eurobodalla Shire Councillor (2012-2016) Gabi Harding said:
“Our community have overwhelmingly responded against the sale of guns and ammunition in our public building in Narooma. We have made representation time and time again at council forum, through emails and letters to Councillors and the General Manager. Through petitions and through the media.
“This extension of the licence past the term of the next Council is completely undemocratic.
“Our current Council knows this will be an election issue come September 2016 and to lock in the licence for a further 5 years during the fading months of the current term can only be described as outrageous,” Clr Harding said.
Greens MP Justice and Firearms Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The Greens are excited to be repeatedly presenting Animals in the Wild which is a much loved celebration of nature in the wild, unthreatened, and unharmed by humans.
“As Huntfest gets becomes bigger and uglier every year, Animals in the Wild is an important way of demonstrating that shooting nature and animals is far more rewarding with a camera than a gun.
“The fact is that the overwhelming majority of residents in the Eurobodalla community do not support Huntfest and do not want their coastal town known as the home of an arms fair.
“The Greens are calling on the Minister to listen to the overwhelming views of the local community and refuse the request to extend Huntfest’s license past 2017.” Mr Shoebridge said. (Postscript: the Eurobodalla Shire Councillors hurriedly extended Huntfest's licence ahead of time to 2022 so that the incoming Councillors in 2016 couldn't cancel the event)
The prize of a $100 gift voucher is awarded to the best picture in each of the following categories:
The image that most evokes a connection with an animal in the wild in Australia
The most beautiful image of a bird in the wild in Australia
The image that conveys the threats facing native animals in Australia, including the reality of environmental and habitat damage, hunting, and guns and killing culture in Australia
The most beautiful image of an animal in the wild photographed by a photographer aged 16 years or under.
In 2019 a fifth category was added - The image that best shows the beauty and diversity of our precious native forests
In November 2018 the best photos from 2017 and 2018 were exhibited for 3 weeks in 2 of the shire libraries and in the foyer of the Council building in Moruya much to the acclaim of the Council staff.
The opening of the 2019 exhibition at Gallery Bodalla was accompanied with the news that the HuntFest organisers had not only cancelled the 2019 event but had handed back their licence for future years citing inability to attract enough stallholders.
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