The following article appeared in "The Geelong Advertiser" on Thursday July 26
I am sorry that I can't acknowledge the author, but the article is on
their website and does not give this information.
Little River farm used for bird hunts at $2000 a head
CLAIMS shooters are paying $2000 a day to hunt game birds at a Little
River property are under investigation by City Hall.
Werribee resident Eric Bullmore has admitted to conducting commercial
hunts of pheasants and partridge on his 248 hectare farm known as
Little River Gaming Reserve. The council is believed to have sought
legal advice as to whether Mr Bullmore requires a planning permit for
the venture following objections from adjoining property owners.
Speaking on radio recently, Mr Bullmore said he hosted about two
small groups of shooters each month to kill non-indigenous game birds
bred on the property.
``Mine is, it's a privately owned game reserve. I'm the proprietor.
We breed and release non-indigenous game birds for hunting,'' Mr
Bullmore said on 774 ABC. ``You could probably come and hunt birds
for about two thousand dollars.''
Mr Bullmore yesterday maintained he was within his legal rights to
take experienced shooters on paid hunting expeditions. ``These are
friends who come up, but they pay for the opportunity to hunt
there,'' he said. ``Really, the council have had legal advice, and
the legal advice is there is nothing they can do.''
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment confirmed Mr
Bullmore was one of five people in the state granted a commercial
gaming licence which was subject to strict controls.
But neighbouring land owners like David McKenzie are adamant the
venture should require a planning permit. Mr McKenzie and two other
neighbours have asked the council why nothing was being done to stop
him conducting intensive animal husbandry and commercial hunting.
He told this week's council meeting it was disruptive to neighbours
and inappropriate considering the property was near the Earth
Sanctuary tourist attraction. ``It's stirred up a bit of wider
interest in the community who are uncomfortable with what he is
doing,'' Mr McKenzie said after the meeting. ``If we have to apply
for permits to do things on our property, so should he.''
Mr Bullmore, who ran on a sporting shooter's ticket in the recent
city council elections, said Mr McKenzie should ``get a life''. He
said the birds were raised with ``extreme loving care'' and strict
criteria was enforced regarding who was allowed on the property. He
defended the practice of animals being bred in captivity and released
for pleasure shooting, saying shooters could no longer rely on past
hunting practices. ``This is a sustainable, environmentally sound
model that has been developed in the UK and Europe,'' Mr Bullmore
said. ``There is no chance of the wrong birds being shot. What we
provide there is a safe hunting experience.''
Mr Bullmore has also re-applied for a permit to conduct clay target
shooting on his property after his initial application was rejected
by the Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal. He said he was
confident the permit would be granted after addressing VCAT's
concerns, including reducing the number of shooting days from seven
to two per week.
Cr Michael Crutchfield said the city had transcripts of the radio
interview and was ``more than interested in the alleged comments''.
``Council has been under the understanding he has been adamant he
wasn't going to run the gaming ranch,'' the councillor said. ``The
recent comments on radio at first hand appear to conflict with those
statements.'' He said Mr Bullmore's comments would be taken into
consideration by officers and councillors when it considered the clay
target permit application at a special panels hearing on August 6.
The city did not respond to requests for information yesterday.
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