Hunters in NSW will be stalking in national parks and eating wild duck by Christmas under a deal done between the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Coalition Government.
Despite losing the fight against the ammunition control bill last night, the SFP is celebrating this significant win, which comes in return for their qualified support for the privatisation of the state's electricity assets.
The SFP has also guaranteed support for its amendments to the privatisation legislation that will protect workers affected by the sale of power generators and other infrastructure.
The SFP has been pushing to legalise hunting in national parks for some time, and has succeeded in forcing O'Farrell to back down on his opposition to it after blocking the electricity sell-off in the upper house.
"We expect to have that legislation through by the end of June and, subject to the implementation program, we expect to be hunting in some national parks by Christmas," SFP MLC Robert Borsak said. "It will be rolled out progressively."
NSW hunters should also be able to hunt duck and quail by then, too.
"These are all positive changes for NSW, which has seen our precious national parks suffer under the idealistic 'protection' of the Greens," Mr Borsak said.
"Australia's once vibrant hunting heritage has been smothered and primary producers have been devastated by ducks in plague proportions. We will at last begin to bring some sense and balance back."
He said government support for the legislation wasn't without conditions. Wilderness and heritage zones will not be gazetted for hunting and a number of high-use national parks close to metropolitan areas would not be included in the program.
Only about 70 of the state's almost 800 parks and conservation areas are to be opened up, although whether more may be added in the future is not clear.
Permission to hunt in parks would be run under the same model as conservation hunting in state forests, but the state's duck and quail shooting would follow a new 'adaptive' model.
"What we're talking about is not your traditional open and shut duck season," Mr Borsak said. "We're talking about a new model for sustainable, progressive utilisation based on species, populations, periodic need for mitigation and so on."
Both national park and gamebird hunting would be managed under the Game Council, which has overseen conservation hunting under R- and G-licences since being formed in 2004.
Hunters will also gain protection from harassment under the legislation intended to reduce the likelihood and seriousness of attacks by protesters, although the details of this are still to be worked out.
"Conservation Hunters save the people of NSW millions of dollars and their impact on pest and feral animal populations has been proven," Mr Borsak said.
"There are around 20,000 licensed Conservation Hunters active in State Forests and on private property, and they remove over 600,000 feral animals every year, a huge benefit for our native flora and fauna."