Recently elected Liberal Party Member for Brighton, James Newbury, assured SSAA Victoria he does not support a ban on duck season.
Mr Newbury was in the news recently after he used his maiden speech to the Victorian Parliament in December to attack duck hunting.
“For three months each year, duck hunters — who represent half of 1 per cent of Victorians — kill and bag up to 10 ducks per day,” Mr Newbury told the Parliament.
“Though hunters are required to carry out ducks killed, hundreds of birds, including endangered species supposedly protected from being shot, are found dead during the season.
“Victoria’s natural environment and wildlife are a unique part of this state’s identity and a modern Liberal Party must speak out on behalf of the promotion and preservation of them.”
SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird and Communications Manager Justin Law met with Mr Newbury on January 21 to discuss his speech.
At the meeting Mr Newbury assured SSAA Victoria that he was not in favour of a ban on duck hunting.
However, he did have concerns, shared by SSAA Victoria, about illegal and unethical behaviour demonstrated by some shooters and the lack of effective enforcement of the current regulations.
“The critically low enforcement resources are often tied up with handling protestors out on the water meaning any illegal activity cannot be effectively monitored,” Mr Laird said.
“We hope Mr Newbury can use what influence he has to improve Game Management Authority funding to address this issue.
“It is also hoped our visit was able to balance some of his perceptions and emotionally based responses to duck hunting.”
He was informed of the Association’s involvement with the RESPECT – Hunt Responsibly initiative, the Shotgun Education Program, the Association’s hunting Code of Conduct and the role hunters have long-played in the protection of wetland habitat.
“He has also been invited to attend a duck hunt during the season to enable him to see first-hand what responsible hunting is about,” Mr Laird said.
The Association will be monitoring Mr Newbury’s future public comments on duck hunting in the hope that he will be more understanding of the activity and the people who participate in it.
“Hunters are tired of the endless bigotry levelled at them by people who do not understand the desire to put fresh shot food on their family table,” Mr Law said.
“Humans have always hunted and in other cultures hunting is respected and protected. Why should we be treated differently?
“Our members and the tens of thousands of other hunters who enjoy this legal and legitimate activity expect the same respect.
“All we want is a fair go for responsible people.”