The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath says Labor’s sudden bag limit backflip for recreational duck shooters is an admission the Andrews Government got it wrong.
It was quietly confirmed this week the bag limit will increase from two duck to five ducks, citing results from aerial bird surveys that show populations are at sustainable numbers. The decision to restrict the hunting of teal species has also been over turned.
In State Parliament in February, Ms Bath called on the Minister for Agriculture, Mary Anne Thomas to release the full data which was subsequently refused.
“While the long overdue increase to a five-bird bag limit will be welcomed by recreational hunters, it does not go far enough and it’s a case of too little, too late,” said Ms Bath.
“The fact remains what should have been a three-month season has been reduced to 20 days.
“This decision has been released under the cover of the Game Management Authority (GMA), with the Minister ducking for cover.”
Ms Bath said the aerial surveys the GMA has cited to increase the bag limit were actually conducted in early November 2020.
“Labor knew the results of these aerial surveys last year, yet chose to ignore the science and went ahead with its plan to strangle the 2021 duck season.”
“Responsible recreational hunters remain frustrated and extremely disappointed at the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to severely restrict the season without justification.
“In contrast to Victoria the Tasmanian state government is enjoying a full 3-month season and a 10-bag bird limit.
“The Nationals are calling on Labor to end the games and announce an immediate start to duck season
“All evidence presented to Andrews Government by Victorian Duck Hunters Association, Field and Game Australia, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and the Shooting Sports Council of Victoria supported a full duck season in Victoria and Labor ignored it.
“The question still remains how can the wild duck population can be so drastically different in two neighbouring states.”