You may have seen our TV ads conveying our message.
The duck shooting "debate" is often centred around animal welfare or the alleged "rights" of shooters to enjoy their recreational past time. But there is a third significant stakeholder whose collective voice is going unnoticed. It's those of us who own property, run businesses and raise families in these communities. For at least three months out of twelve, our daily lives are disrupted. Our basic human rights to live and work in peace have come second to the rights of a minority who like to shoot our native waterbirds.
Less than half of a percent of the population still shoot birds (GMA license statistics) while recent data shows record participation in visits to nature parks, indigenous culture sites and bushwalking (Tourism Research Australia).
Here we are in rural Victoria whose small towns are struggling (Census and ATO data), yet afford us stunning wetland habitats rich in indigenous culture and home to rare and threatened birds.
By protecting our precious native waterbirds and marketing our stunning wetlands for nature tourism, our rural towns could soon enjoy the social and economic rewards our nature assets allow.