Labor fails our struggling native waterbirds and rural communities – Regional Victorians OTDS Inc

A pitifully low number of native waterbirds remaining *(1) seeking refuge on Victorian waterways still with water, will be sitting ducks in another government sanctioned native waterbird slaughter.

“Regional Victorians are deeply disappointed with the Labor Government’s decision” said Kerrie Allen, spokesperson for Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting Inc. today.”Independent scientific evidence has been ignored, as have the adverse impacts to rural communities. There have been no safety risk assessments or social/economic impact studies done re unmonitored shooting at thousands of public waterways around the state – often in close proximity to residents”.

“Authorities can’t say where the thousands of waterways are – how can they possibly hope to monitor them or know the impacts to people or birdlife including protected species?”

“This is an unacceptable risk being taken to benefit less than 0.4% of those who still shoot our native birds and not what we had hoped from a government committed to “all victorians” or animal welfare, or protecting our unique wildlife. Why not a moratorium, allowing bird numbers a chance to recover and appropriate social/economic impact studies to be done?”

“The government knows this is not a popular activity, same as it is not humane or sustainable. They have seen the independent science reports. They know it’s impossible to monitor. Yet they still choose to hide behind the so-called “independent” regulator’s recommendations and give more taxpayer funds to it? Many Victorians would want to know why a relative handful of duck shooters has such sway over them. How many duck shooters work for this independent regulator?”

“Victorian taxpayers, the majority of whom deeply oppose this activity , have a right to know why more of their hard earned dollars are being spent subsidising a minority destructive activity – dollars which could go towards public roads and hospitals.”

In 2017, in the absence of any government consultation about community impacts, RVOTDS asked regional Victorians about duck shooting. Hundreds of people who live and work around Victorian waterways where unmonitored shooting takes place, responded online with heartfelt concerns about safety, public amenity and adverse impacts to family, stock and pets.

“Many MPs have never experienced duck shooting in the raw” said Ms Allen. “There is a real and damaging impact on rural families and businesses. A ‘modified’ season solves none of these concerns and hundreds of thousands of native waterbirds will still be sacrificed.”

“We now challenge Labor MPs, to come and experience what they condone, at our homes when the season starts.“

Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting Inc