Shooters Union blast conflict allegations against Perrett
THE Shooters Union Queensland has blasted conflict of interest allegations levelled at Gympie MP Tony Perrett in the lead up to the state election.
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Mr Perrett, the Opposition spokesman for forestry, this week came under fire from recreational forest use campaign groups with allegations he is conflicted by two grazing leases he holds.
The Queensland State Forest User Alliance and State Forest Hunting for Queensland said Gympie’s voters should be concerned about the leases given he had not released his policy on recreational state forest use.
In response the “perplexed” Shooters Union has officially endorsed Mr Perrett as the organisation’s preferred candidate for Gympie.
Shooters Union Queensland president Graham Park called the allegations levelled at Mr Perrett “completely baseless and without merit”.
“We think Tony Perrett has been a strong advocate for appropriate recreational use of the region’s natural resources because he understands the delicate balance needed between agricultural and recreational use,” Mr Park said.
“We would even say that his having grazing leases on land adjoining his property is not a conflict of interest; it gives him particular insights and expertise into the issue.”
The union has encouraged all its members and supporters in Gympie to vote for Mr Perrett, pointing to his “track record of standing up for constituents on important matters directly affecting the region”.
“It is rare to see a politician ready to cross the floor to vote for what is right rather than just following the party line, and the fact Mr Perrett has done this proves to us he is the right person to represent Gympie in parliament,” Mr Park said.
Mr Park also said the union was in favour of recreational access to State Forests in Queensland, but “it was not an issue which could be hashed out overnight”.
“There’s a time and place for conversations about recreational access to State Forests, but three weeks out from a state election is possibly not ideal,” he said.