Evidence behind the decision to impose a heavily restricted duck season in Victoria in 2021 must be released, after Tasmania confirmed a full three-month season this year.
The hunting community has labelled the Andrews Labor Government’s 20-day season and limit of two birds per day a stealth attempt to regulate the sector out of existence.
Reports yesterday question the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to release evidence behind the heavily restricted season, including aerial wetland surveys conducted in November last year.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said evidence showed waterbirds were at sustainable levels after above-average rainfall across eastern Australia in the past 12 months.
“The Andrews Labor Government wants Victorians to believe its shortened season is based on science, not politics, but the science tells us we should be having a full 12-week season in 2021,” Mr Walsh said.
“Hunters are right to question what Daniel Andrews is hiding when he spends $200,000 of Victorian taxpayer dollars on aerial surveys, but then refuses to release the results.
“If there’s evidence to support a 20-day season, it must not be kept secret.”
The Game Management Authority announced late last year it would conduct aerial surveys of Victorian wetlands to assess bird populations. But the results are yet to be released.
Field and Game Australia and Victorian Duck Hunters Association have slammed the restricted season, saying the two bird limit is a deliberate attempt to discourage hunters travelling to regional Victoria.
Mr Walsh said regional communities were a big winner out of the $356 million hunting generates for the Victorian economy every year.
“The Andrews Labor Government is hell bent on banning hunting in Victoria, at the expense of regional communities,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals strongly support the rights of Victoria’s tens of thousands of recreational hunters, but Daniel Andrews will sell out any Victorian to further his ideological agenda.”