Its about the Victoria our grandchildren will grow up in.
More figures show a global trend towards peaceful nature appreciation.
Birding brings big bucks.
With small rural Victorian towns struggling economically (SGS Economics & Planning), yet affording us stunning waterways which would rival Kakadu, the solution is clear.
Its time to protect and leverage our nature assets across the state.
UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), has found that ecotourism is growing six times faster than the industry average, with one of the most lucrative components being birdwatching.
Birdwatching (Birding) has experienced rapid growth, with one of the largest followings of any leisure activity in the world. Undisputedly, your average "birder" is educated and affluent, likely to care for, stay longer and spend more money in, places they visit.
Latest Australian Tourism and Transport Forum reports show a rapid increase in nature tourism over the last five years.
According to a US Fishing and Wildlife's Banking on Nature Report, 72 percent of total expenditures are generated by non-consumptive activities.
Figures from the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Activities released recently, show 85 million Americans watched wildlife in 2016, an increase of 21% in the last 5 years, compared to 35 million who fished and 11.5 million who hunted (a decrease of 16% in last 5 years).
Wildlife watchers, a large percentage being bird watchers, generated $76 billion USD (up 28% in the last 5 years) compared to fishers ($46 billion USD) and hunters, ($25 billion USD, down 29% in last 5 years) a small percentage of which are duck shooters.