The final report in the Inquiry into Victoria’s Recreational Native Bird Hunting Arrangements has been released.
The Nationals MP and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Public Land Use Melina Bath said there is no logical reason to ban duck hunting in Victoria given the overwhelming evidence that habitat is the key to duck populations, not hunting.
“Instead of recognising the positive effect hunters have on conserving wetland habitats; the Committee recommended the cessation of native bird hunting in Victoria for all individuals of non-Aboriginal decent.
“The Labor, Greens and Animal Justice Party alliance used their numbers to stack the Committee and recommend banning duck hunting despite scientific evidence revealing hunters do not adversely impact waterbird population.
“This Inquiry has been driven by ideological and political purpose as pay back for support for other issues in the Upper House.
“Independent ecologists’ clearly stated that under an interim adaptive harvest model, duck hunting is sustainable.
“The Nationals reject the biased and ideologically driven report.
“In contrast, The Nationals’ Minority Report supports hunting and focuses on sound science, something the Committee report blatantly ignores.
“The Inquiry was a missed opportunity to acknowledge the work of volunteer hunter conservationists who have for decades restored wetland habitats.
“In the past 12 months Field and Game members have contributed half a million dollars in volunteer hours completing conservation projects.
“Hunters are intrinsically connected to the land, a fact highlighted by Dja Dja Wurrung elder Rod Carter in evidence.
“I think more broadly to the importance of being a hunter – a hunter as such holding a very significant place within society, within a family, as a provider of sustenance to people. We also describe … the importance for us as First Nations people – but extending that to us all as humans”.
Ms Bath said she wholeheartedly agreed with Trevor Williams Mining and Energy Union Victorian District President who said any move to ban hunting was “the thin edge of the wedge”.
“People who enjoy traditional outdoor pursuits have every right to ask – what will be next?
“The Nationals stand with law abiding hunters and recognise their conservation efforts.
“Hunting, like fishing is a legitimate outdoor activity that harvests food from nature, and it injects millions into our regional economy.
“It is a well-regulated activity, undertaken in safe and responsible way by tens of thousands of Victorians.
“The Andrews Government must listen to the science, ignore the ideology and reject this bias and flawed report.”
Link to Minority report
Link to Parliament vision