Question – resumption of water fowl identification testing

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (23:16): My adjournment debate matter is for the Minister for Agriculture in the other place, and it relates to the reinstatement of waterfowl identification testing through the Game Management Authority. My constituent has been actively attempting to sit the junior waterfowl identification test for the past year because his entry-level 12-month junior licence has expired. Now, contacting the GMA early last year he was told that testing would be put on hold because of COVID. Since then he has had multiple calls made to the GMA and it has produced a variety of responses. In November the former agriculture minister responded to my previous inquiry on the topic, saying the government has extended the validity of game licences by one year. Notably, this was not the experience of my constituent. He was advised that he was not able to participate in the reduced 2020  duck season; adult licences were extended but not junior licences. Furthermore, he could not even legally go and enter our local game reserve to camp with his family.

The GMA website published information stating that the waterfowl ID test would be scheduled to come online in January this year. It is now February and the online waterfowl test has failed to be established. The website says the GMA will be transitioning to a new online licence system and to please check out the Facebook post. Well, there is no time line on the Facebook post and there is no identification as to when this will be up and running. We have responsible duck hunters who are tired of being duckshoved around, blocked and given mixed messages by the Andrews government. They have been wondering when the Andrews government will open duck season and whether they will actually open it at all. The action I seek from the Minister for Agriculture is to immediately commit to a time frame for implementing these online COVID-safe waterfowl identification tests and also to announce when the 2020 duck season will be up and running so my young constituent can finally complete his test and join his family out on the water reserve.