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The Greens have fired another spin-laden salvo at the shooting sports, accusing the NSW government of conspiring with “international arms dealers” to use taxpayer money to promote “hunting for the thrill of the kill”.

In an emotively worded statement, NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge pointed out that the Game Council was sponsoring Beyond the Divide, the Australian-made hunting TV program which he said “celebrates the killing of moose, deer and other wild animals and actively promotes some of the world's largest international arms dealers”.

The “arms dealers” he was referring to were firearms manufacturer Beretta and ammunition maker Hornady, both of which are using Beyond the Divide to promote their sporting products for hunters.

“The NSW government must not be getting in bed with death merchants to co-promote events or programs such as this,” Shoebridge said

“This is not the first time the Game Council has been criticised for associating itself with a weapons manufacturer. The June 2012 Shot Expo was also jointly sponsored by the Game Council and Beretta,” he said, though he did not admit that the criticism was his own.

In response, the Shooters and Fishers Party pointed out that such sponsorship arrangements are not only common practice among government bodies, but part of their roles.

“Public funds are used by government agencies all the time to promote for their stakeholders. Game Council NSW is just doing what it is required to do for its stakeholders under the Act,” the SFP posted on its Facebook page.

The SFP listed similar examples from NSW Fire & Rescue, NPWS, Screen NSW, Destination NSW and the Homebush Motor Racing Authority.

“David Shoebridge's condemnation of Game Council NSW for sponsoring a television series shows how truly naive he is,” the party said.

Fairfax Media ran the story of the Game Council’s involvement, and reported the deal was worth $18,000.

It is not the first time a Fairfax story containing quotes from the Greens has been published at the same time as the Greens issued a media release with the same quotes and a link to the Fairfax story.

Fairfax and the Greens appear to have a cosy relationship, and figures from the Fairfax website show it publishes about three stories on the Greens for every two that cover the Labor Party and two featuring the Liberal Party.

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