Duck Shooting at the Western Treatment Plant

Subject: Duck Shooting at the Western Treatment Plant
From: "" <>
Date: Sat, 2 May 2009 04:42:54 -0400
Hi All,

While at the Western Treatment Plant today, mainly surveying for
Orange-bellied Parrots, I came across two duck shooters snapping large
branches off the native Salt Bush along the beach to construct make-shift
hides. They both had shot guns and a large supply of cartridges clearly
visible on their belts. They also had about a dozen realistic wooden duck
decoys floating in the water. After a brief confrontation where I was
saying they were not allowed to shoot there and them saying they had
permission from a Department of Sustainability and Environment employee to
shoot there I decided to ring the police to settle the argument. A Senior
Constable attended and after talking to the shooter and to a few contacts
of mine it was decided that they could stay as long as they were on the
beach (within 30 metres of the high tide) mark and that they only shoot out
to sea.

I would like to know if anyone knows what is the official rules in regards
to duck shooting at the Western Treatment Plant. I personally find it
offensive that duck shooters choose to shoot at a sanctuary where they know
there is a good chance of bumping into birdwatchers.

A few reasons why I think duck shooting should be banned at or near the
Western Treatment Plant are:

Members of the general public frequent the area and drive within metres of
where they are shooting. Today for example was an open day and had a tour
bus driving right past the shooters.

There is a good chance of Orange-bellied Parrots being in the area or
flying past. The bushes the men were tearing apart where within metres of
where I saw 5 Orange-bellied Parrots several years ago.

The area is a RAMSAR listed sanctuary. What is the point of having this
status if shooters are allowed to pick off any duck which dares to fly over
the beach?

By the way, one of the shooters yelled out that the whole world was stuffed
because of bird watchers. These shooters had departed by the time I left
however another shooter was walking in from the Beach Road Boat ramp with a
shotgun over his shoulder. At least these shooters didn't take dogs in with
them like a pair I saw there 2 years ago.

A lady who was with me mentioned that the fact that these guys can walk
around with shotguns actually scared her. Any help regarding the official
rules or what can be done to tighten the rules would be appreciated,

Cheers, Paul

Paul Hackett

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