Improved levels of monitoring and enforcement for the upcoming duck season were called for by Gippsland East Nations MP, Tim Bull, in Parliament last week.
“Last year’s season was marred by some irresponsible actions, there is no doubt about that, and we need to stamp it out,” said Mr Bull, who added the Game Management Authority (GMA) had come under some heavy criticism.
“However, I want to point out that enforcement is not the sole responsibility of the GMA and it is unfair that it should be held solely responsible for last year’s problems.
“Victoria Police, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s wildlife officers and Parks Victoria staff all have a role to play in monitoring and enforcement prior to and during duck hunting season opening weekend.
“The Minister must not use the GMA’s difficulties as an excuse for restricting duck hunting.
“We need to weed out those who do not do the right thing. Those people who do not abide by the strict laws and regulations that are in place should face the full force of the law.
"What we need is better resourcing to make them accountable.
“Many generations of Gippsland families have enjoyed duck season opening as an opportunity to get together as a family and with friends as a traditional activity.
“We also have a number of groups in our community like Field and Game members who do an enormous amount of work in restoring the breeding habitat of our wetlands and in controlling the foxes that endanger both common and rare species of waterbirds.
"I also know there are those in the community who hold a different view on duck season and I respect those views, but do not support ending this traditional activity.
“There are significant penalties for failing to comply with hunting laws but the laws don’t act as a deterrent if they are not backed up by the visible presence of enforcement officers on the ground,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who has called for appropriate enforcement of regulations this duck season, inspects the wetland habitat restoration works at Jones Bay State Game Reserve with Bairnsdale Field and Game conservation and hunting officer, David Young.
Monday, March 12, 2018