Forum sends message to Labor to back hunting

Hundreds turned up to a forum in Wonthaggi to send a message to the Allan Labor Government to keep hunting of ducks, quail and deer on the table.

Attendees moved a single unanimous motion calling on Labor to allow the continuation of the traditional pursuit of hunting for all Victorians.

The forum was organised by Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Public Land Use, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath.

Representatives from across the state converged on Wonthaggi to discuss Labor’s plans to ban duck and quail hunting. It also addressed the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ as traditional outdoor recreation enthusiasts are now asking, ‘what’s next could be banned under Labor’s green agenda’.

Ms Bath said she was delighted with the response to the forum as it demonstrated the breadth of people who are passionate about tradition pursuits and maintaining access to public land.

“Labor is ignoring the science and pandering to those who pedal falsehoods about impact of a well-regulated duck hunting season.

“It is abundantly clear that hunters care deeply about the sustainability of their harvest and dedicate countless volunteer hours to restore wetland habitat for all wildlife.

The forum included a Q&A panel discussion with Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Emma Kealy, Rob Passarin, President Western Port Field & Game, Gary ‘Pud’ Howard and Anne Wilson, Sale Field & Game, Stuart Allen, President Wonthaggi Clay Target Club and Gippsland MP’s Melina Bath, Danny O’Brien, Martin Cameron, and Wayne Farnham.

Addressing the forum Emma Kealy reiterated the Victorian Oppositions’ strong support for hunting and other traditional outdoor recreation pursuits, saying “it was critical that access to public land was encouraged and not diminished like it is under Labor.”

Ms Kealy said there is no logical reason to ban a sustainable hunting as an activity in Victoria as there is strong scientific evidence to support its continuation.

“Harvesting food for the family table through activities such as hunting and fishing has been occurring since the beginning of time with our first nations people – it’s important that this tradition continues in a sustainable manner and be available to all Victorians.

“The Allan Labor Government must make a decision by the end of 2023 about the future of duck season so the many regional business that rely on its continuation can plan for the future.”

Ms Bath said the forum represented a push back from Victorians on Labor’s green political ideology.

“The fact remains hunting is highly regulated, sustainable activity that generates enormous economic revenue in regional Victoria.

“The Nationals back the continuation of hunting and traditional outdoor pursuits based on sound science, and we will continue to support them to be conducted in a safe and responsible way well into the future.”