Stacked ducks inquiry puts ideology ahead of science

The Liberals and Nationals today strongly back the future of duck hunting in Victoria, after a biased and stacked Inquiry recommended the end of the practice.

Labor, the Greens and the Animal Justice Party members involved in the Inquiry into Victoria’s Recreational Native Bird Hunting Arrangements have ignored science and based their call to end duck hunting on ideology alone.

Instead of backing trained and licenced hunters and recognising the positive effect they have on conserving and restoring wetland habitats, Labor, the Greens and Animal Justice Party used their numbers in bid to vote duck hunting out of existence.

The sourcing of birds for food now faces being banned for all individuals of non-Aboriginal descent.

After hearing overwhelming evidence from scientists showing hunters do not adversely impact the population of water birds, the Liberals and Nationals were unable to support the Inquiry committee’s majority report.

An extensive Liberals and Nationals minority report recommends the continuation of bird harvesting in Victoria in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.

Emma Kealy, Shadow Minister for Agriculture said Labor must reject the recommendation.

“They must reject the biased recommendations,” Ms Kealy said.

“Duck hunting is sustainable and safe and has enormous economic benefits. The evidence, ignored by Labor, Greens and Animal Justice Party members involved in this Inquiry, backs that up.

“It helps with land conservation and sustainability and is a source of food.”

Member for Eastern Victoria and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Public Land Use, Melina Bath, was a member of the Inquiry committee she described as “stacked” and “biased”.

“This Inquiry was a missed opportunity to showcase the sustainability of hunting based on science and fact,” Ms Bath said.

“This Inquiry has wasted many thousands of dollars and countless hours of time to put together a biased and flawed report.

“The Andrews Government together with the cross bench have used selective ideological evidence to justify its end game – banning duck hunting.”

Committee Member and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Evan Mulholland, said that the Committee had been a “stitch up”.

“Working class people in my electorate are shocked. Labor have turned their back on Victorians from growth areas and our regions,” Mr Mulholland said.

Duck hunting contributes about $65 million to the economy, which benefits local communities in regional Victoria, including Mansfield, East Gippsland, Latrobe, Horsham and Gannawarra.

In 2022, there were almost 28,000 licences to hunt game birds (ducks and quails) in Victoria.