"It hurts. I feel it in the gut"
Government sanctioned war zones in public areas.
For three months of the year, a small army of shooters including children as young as twelve, will invade our normally peaceful wetland communities armed with shotguns in a one sided ambush of our desperately low numbers of native waterbirds.
Gunfire from dawn to dusk every day for three months, upsets children, unsettles stock and pets, makes it difficult for locals to enjoy their weekends and keeps residents, visitors, and other would be tourists away.
For these three months, residents, rescuers and the media must stay away from many public foreshores before 10am and must vacate two hours before dusk, while shooters have exclusive rights over these public areas.
The areas are rendered unsafe to local community as groups of shooters regularly camp, at times illegally, drinking, lighting fires and shooting near peoples homes. Shooting is unmonitored at the vast majority of wetlands and waterways around the state.
At what cost Minister?
We have asked the Minister for assurance as to the number of authorised police who will be present at each of the public lakes where shooting will take place.
We have had no response.
Less than 0.4% of the population take part in shooting our native waterbirds for recreation. Yet millions of taxpayers money is spent on funding the pursuit.
This is grossly unfair to 99.96% Victorians, particularly local communities who suffer incessant gunfire, dwindling economies and exclusion from public areas.
Rate paying locals are then often only left with the waste, including broken bottles, spent cartridges, soiled toilet paper, human effluent, animal body parts and plastic wraps to clean up.
We demand better from our Ministers who took an oath to serve ALL Victorians.