The Andrews Labor Government must stop duck diving and deliver recreational shooters a full season in 2022 says The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath.
Victoria hasn’t enjoyed a full duck season since 2018 with the season restricted to 64 days in 2019, 38 days in 2020 and a shocking 20 days in 2021.
Speaking in state parliament this week Ms Bath called on Labor to open the season on 19 March with a bag limit of 10 birds.
“Duck season is a popular and sustainable recreational past time that delivers millions of dollars into the Gippsland economy,” said Ms Bath.
“Local small businesses rely on the income – our camping and outdoor recreation stores, fuel stores, butchers, bakers all need the business after two years of pandemic and severely restricted trade.
“For generations many Gippsland families have participated together, enjoying spending time in the great outdoors – recreational hunting is a cultural activity which brings families and friends together.”
Ms Bath said the traditional opening of duck season is only five weeks away and Labor’s silence on the matter is deafening.
“Duck numbers across Victoria are very healthy after La Niña delivered an abundance of rain across the eastern seaboard and the conservation efforts of recreational hunting groups have enhanced waterfowl breeding,” said Ms Bath.
Over the past seven years the Andrews Labor Government has been eroding the season at the expense of recreational hunters.
“Labor’s focus is securing inner city votes and gaining the support of Greens and Animal Justice Party in Parliament’s Upper House to ram through controversial legislation which suits its agenda,” said Ms Bath.
“Recreational hunting is a legitimate and well-regulated past time, and our duck hunters are passionate about the environment, their knowledge of Australia waterfowl is extensive.
“Duck hunters do more for waterfowl numbers and wetland conservation than any metropolitan lobbyist.
“Recreational hunters regularly organise and participate in tree planting, removal of weeds and feral pests and build nesting boxes across our wetlands to enhance habitat and supporting the breeding of native birds.
“Heat Morass near Sale is a stunning example of habitat restoration performed by passionate Field and Game volunteers who are recreational hunters.
“Recreational hunters want waterfowl numbers and habitats preserved so duck season remains sustainable and can be enjoyed for generations to come.
“The decision on the 2022 duck season must be based on evidence and not falsehoods spread by activists – Labor can’t use Covid or green ideology to restrict the season again.”