WHILE SHOOTERS CALL THE SHOTS
ANOTHER VICTORIAN FINANCIAL DEBACLE
91 BUSINESS, UNION, CONSERVATION, TOURISM, CONSTRUCTION, ANIMAL WELFARE AND INDIGENOUS ORGANISATIONS UNITE, IN CALL FOR BIRD SHOOT BAN
Victorian Labor Snubs Victorians
With the announcement that native bird hunting will continue despite the Parliamentary Inquiry recommending it be banned, RVOTDS can only assume the government has been held to ransom by a few union leaders, and the gun lobby.
To think that the protection of our environment and regional communities is being put in the firing line due to what many see as thuggery and threats, is utterly disturbing for our democratic governing system.
It is unacceptable that taxpayers have funded an inquiry process only to have the findings and the voice of the majority of Victorians ignored.
It is particularly disappointing that policy makers paid no visits to regional families, farmers and businesses seriously disadvantaged by bird shooting, before making this announcement from their city offices.
Regional communities simply cannot carry on life with the continuing ramifications of native bird shooting to their lives, livelihoods, heritage, health and environment. While shooters have other recreational activities they can enjoy if a ban was put in place, regional communities and the environment have no such choice.
Our work will only be accelerating as we cannot be accepting of this injustice and environmental negligence.
Minister Please Explain
In the meantime, RVOTDS has sought clarification from the Minister's office regarding pertinent matters of public interest:
the basis for the Minister’s statement that bird hunting “supports regional communities and economies”, because to our knowledge there is only a shooters’ (taxpayer funded) survey, which is of course not a cost benefit analysis.
how shooting can be safe and responsible when regulators can't even say how many thousands of public shooting areas there are.
when safety risk assessments will be carried out.
where the regulator’s quail season “consideration” documents are.
We will relay the answers in our next newsletter, which is shaping up to be fascinating reading.
Shooters' "Science" (as opposed to scientists' science) Adopted by Government
It’s highly concerning the Environment Minister mentioned a single year’s duck breeding event, presumably as justification to continue the native bird shoots, despite scientists' advice that long-term trends are more informative for predicting population dynamics. The graph below, from the largest most consistent and long - term scientific data set available, is unambiguous re what the long - term trend is showing.
Left: Alarming decline. Trend line for all hunted ducks.
While some species finally increased as a result of rainfall, the “tennis ball bounce” is getting lower each time. Some individual duck species are particularly concerning. See below.
Above: Australian Shelduck, "protected" under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, on the Victorian kill list, despite clear long - term decline and a failure to "bounce back" even in wet years.
Another Victorian Financial Debacle
Just how much more public money the government intends to throw at this minority choice of recreation is unknown.
But what is known, is that it will deter other more popular and financially beneficial pastimes, like birdwatching which is now worth over $900 million to our country according to Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Surveys (excludes international birdwatching revenue).
91 Organisations Unite in Call for Bird Shoot Ban
Meanwhile, the list of businesses, conservation organisations, Unions and First Nations Clans publicly supporting our cause continues to grow.
Prior to the government’s appalling announcement, RVOTDS was in the final stages of confirming a full page newspaper advertisement calling for a ban on duck and quail shooting, co-signed by a staggering 91 organisations.
Signatories included Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Victoria, Australian Education Union Victorian Branch, Victorian National Parks Association, a dozen Indigenous groups, tourism businesses, regional construction businesses, multiple field naturalist clubs, wildlife organisations and more.
The advertising money will now be saved. Suffice to say, government officials have seen this advertisement, and they know the combined supporter base of this compelling list, is unlikely to easily forget Monday’s’ announcement.
Quotes attributable to Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting inc:
“Premier Allan should come clean to Victorians. What deals have been made with the unions and gun lobby? How much taxpayer money has so far been spent supporting this hobby in which less than half of one percent of the population partake and most Victorians oppose? How much more is going to be thrown at it?”
“In a cost of living crisis, it is unfathomable taxpayer funds would be spent trying to control an uncontrollable, grossly cruel, environmentally destructive and unpopular activity, and one which locks out the vast majority of Victorians from public areas. We calculate millions of dollars which could have been spent on desperately needed biosecurity measures, have so far been channelled to hunt clubs and hunting bureaucracies when most Victorians neither hunt native birds nor agree with hunting native birds.”
“Not sure who this government is representing, but it’s not the best interests of the majority of Victorians. This is a frightening day for democracy.”
“It’s now clear to all to see, who runs this state. It's also clear how little regard this government has for regional communities, for the health and safety of Victorians generally, and for animal welfare, our environment, and threatened species. This is very sad for many, but particularly Labor.”