Members Statements

Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (09:42): The Andrews Labor government stands condemned for its announcements around duck season this year, a blatant political decision that ignores evidence and science. Never again can we take this government seriously when it says it is acting on the best science; it will always put politics first. The decision is based apparently on ‘a more precautionary approach’ and ‘poor behaviour by some hunters’ and is an insult to the vast majority of law-abiding hunters. The government’s own figures showed 99.9 per cent compliance on bag limits last season. There is no new evidence to justify a decision like this, especially when environmental conditions for duck breeding and habitat are among the best we have seen for decades. I am not a hunter myself, so why they do it is perhaps better described by a fifth-generation hunter from Gippsland, who puts it this way:

Duck hunting, despite what the media and government would make you believe, is not about a lust to kill or piles of dead ducks. It’s about family, friends, relationships, boat rides in the dark, sunrises, sunsets, laughs. It’s about camp fires, wet dogs, muddy boots, smelly cars, Two stroke exhausts and a beer here and there. Duck hunting is about conservation and time spent in the field watching, listening and lots of waiting.

Many of those opposed to duck season do not want hunting of any sort and ultimately no human use of animals at all. Labor should understand this. The Labor government stands condemned for this anti-science decision.

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