Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced the extension today, saying it would reimburse hunters for the time they were unable to access state forests. Forests will be reopend from Friday May 8th.
Mr Marshall also announced that from today, the booking system would reopen, allowing hunters back into state forests from Friday as part of the easing of COVID-19 movement restrictions.
“This is really good news for the almost 19,000 R-Licence hunters across NSW,” Mr Marshall said.
“This extension means that all R-Licences will have an extra four weeks added to their licences, the same period they were unable to access the state forests booking and hunting maps.”
“I encourage hunters to renew their licences to take advantage of the extension. For those hunters whose R-Licences lapsed during the suspension period and do not wish to renew, a pro-rata refund will also be available.”
Mr Marshall said the decision to re-open state forests for hunting was not made lightly.
“The hunting community was extremely understanding of the need to suspend access to state forests as part of the broader COVID-19 response and extending their current licence is a small thing we can do to get the hunting community back into swing,” he said.
“I want to urge hunters to still closely follow social distancing guidelines and respect measures that might be in place to assist with that, including any advice from state forests regarding camping and facilities use.
“However, this is not an excuse for people to pack their bags and head on a holiday to a regional area – that is still not allowed.”
R-Licence holders are able to hunt game and feral animals on public land that has been declared and opened to hunting, or on private land with the permission of the landholder.
On 6 April 2020, all hunting in state forests was suspended until further notice due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which impacted 18,821 R-Licence holders.