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November News

Slap for Farmers - Low Flying Choppers - New Calendar & Christmas Raffle

Slap for Victorian Farmers

A bill pushed by shooters and fishers to allow public camping on crown land water frontages leased to farmers, has passed in the Victorian upper house . This is despite a lack of public consultation and famers being strongly opposed.

According to Tourism Research Australia Visitor Surveys, fishing is a declining pastime. Similarly if we put all pest/quail/deer and duck shooters together we still get less than 1% of Victoria’s population. Yet this loud and seemingly politically influential group has access to over 50% of Victoria’s public land to carry out their recreation.

Recent surveys showed farmers were distressed enough as it is with hunters trespass. Fears of litter, disturbance to stock and campfires gone wrong are real and justified.

Rural communities and wildlife are still struggling to recover after last summer's bushfires - bushfires able to erase over a billion animals in a single season, predicted to become more frequent and intense.

The bill’s passing is not only a slap in the face for farmers but a blow to caravan park and hotel owners at a time they most need an economic boost.

Our sincere thanks to Clifford Hayes MP and Catherine Cumming MP for voting against the bill.


Taxpayer Funded Chopper Flights - did we need them?

An equal slap to regional landowners are Game Management Authority’s (GMA) flights over farm dams to count ducks. Any kind of public consultation would have identified that low flying helicopters and animals do not mix well.

Was something wrong with the independent scientific annual waterbird surveys highly regarded as the most robust long term dataset available, that taxpayers should now have to pay for hunters* in low flying choppers to do their own bird counts?

Most would agree it’s not rocket science. Populations of our native ducks have been decimated over the long term and would benefit from years of rainfall and protection from hunting to allow their recovery.

If sustainability of native duck shooting is their aim, perhaps GMA could be checking for threatened species at waterways across Victoria. Or better,

attempting to map where these thousands of waterways actually are. Unbelievably, GMA can still only account for around 200 "duck shooting waterways" out of circa 15,000. This must make compliance monitoring – or monitoring of the impact to waterbird populations, (that is sustainability) - rather difficult.

*Freedom of Information documents obtained by RVOTDS show that prior to December 2019 the chair and other senior staff of GMA - the independent regulator - held duck shooting licenses and memberships of hunting clubs. (Did they relinquish them due to low duck numbers?)

On a brighter note...

New 2021 Calendar Available Now!

Our 2021 Native Waterbird Calendar is now available!

Packed with stunning photos of Australia's beautiful waterbirds, interesting information and tips on some of our best birdwatching spots!

Please support our native waterbirds by clicking on the calendar to order yours!

Proceeds will go towards awareness campaigns to benefit our native waterbirds and rural communities.

RVOTDS are hosting an online raffle this Christmas to raise essential funds for our waterbirds. Money raised will help us continue our campaigns.

We have loads of amazing prizes including a wildlife camera, wine packs, regional Victorian accommodation packages, a personalised wetlands tour and plenty of awesome gifts!

The raffle will be drawn at 4pm on Sunday the 20th of December via Facebook Live.

Don't Miss Out!

Purchase tickets in the link below!


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