Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Getting involved

NPWS has an established volunteer program that supports conservation and visitor activities in our parks and reserves across NSW. Volunteers provide invaluable support in bush regeneration, wildlife monitoring, and helping visitors to our parks. Our aim is to make the experience as rewarding as possible for volunteers.

The new supplementary pest control program is an opportunity for the NPWS to work with qualified and experienced ground shooters to support our existing pest management programs in 12 national parks and reserves included in the three year trial.

Through the program NPWS is aiming to build strong and lasting relationships with a team of volunteer shooters who are committed to making a contribution to conservation through control of pest animals.

NPWS is partnering with NSW’s largest shooting organisation, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (NSW) Inc, to help with the selection and co-ordination of volunteers.

To be involved in the program volunteers must:

  • be an existing or new member of SSAA (membership not limited to NSW)
  • have a current firearms licence
  • have all the mandatory training requirements (see below)
  • express interest in joining the program
  • attend an SPC information day
  • undergo induction into the program
  • sign a volunteer agreement to be part of the program.

You can register an interest with the SSAA NSW and details of the upcoming information days will be provided. If you have any other specific questions about the program you can email the Supplementary Pest Control Program.

What level of training will volunteer shooters need?

Volunteer shooters will need to have a high level of skills and training equivalent to that of NPWS staff and contractors. This is to ensure the safety of staff and volunteers. It will also help reassure the community that this is a safe and effective program.

NPWS will also help to organise training for volunteers where necessary.

Category Mandatory requirement Explanation
Firearms qualifications Current firearms licence NSW Firearms Act 1996
(certification in)
Using firearms to humanely destroy animals Fundamental firearms safety and humane operation
  First aid Ability to respond to an injury 
  Navigation and map reading Ability to implement operational requirements and ensure
safety by navigating through the landscape 
  Work health and safety principles  Introduction/reinforcement of work health and safety

Each operation will also require:

  • an induction including a safety briefing
  • briefing and operations based on NPWS approved Shooting Operations Plan
  • NPWS to issue legal permission for individuals to participate in the shooting operation
  • supervision by NPWS staff
  • a debrief at the end of the operation to discuss lessons learned, how the program can be improved to ensure it is effective in targeting pest animals and is meeting the needs of our volunteers.

If you have specific questions about what you may need to be involved you can email the Supplementary Pest Control program.


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Page last updated: 17 December 2015