I see what you mean Peter! Interesting.
The full story did come up when I posted the link. I can't even get it via
my history now.
However, I have now found it by another search so it is still on the www
The duck hunting debate
[OPINION} by: Bill Patterson, Laurie Levy Herald Sun March 14, 2012
"THIS Friday most of Victoria's 26,000 duck hunters will head to the state's
wetlands to prepare for the opening of this year's duck season.
Over the next 12 weeks they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on
food, fuel, accommodation and other supplies in regional towns, many still
struggling to recover from drought and recent floods.
Many will head for the state's network of wetland game reserves, wetlands
that are the envy of other states.
The reserves exist today solely as the result of the efforts of duck hunters
in the late '50s when, at their request, the Bolte government introduced a
The proceeds were to be used to purchase and protect the state's wetlands
There can be no better example of a "triple bottom line" result with the
state's hunters, regional economies and wetlands sharing in the social,
economic and environmental benefits of the duck season.
And yet the duck season, like so many of the state's outdoor recreations,
continues to struggle against lack of investment and promotion, conflicting
state and federal government policies and urban ideologues who hold to an
"arcadian" view that the environment is best managed by "locking and
Access to hunting and fishing is often limited by the state's administration
where no one department holds primary responsibility for these activities
and conflicting policies and administration conspire to frustrate
Duck hunters can look back on a legacy that will never be matched by
protesters who have left no such benefit and who continue to confuse animal
rights with conservation.
Fisheries and game management falls under Primary Industry; the state's
Wildlife Act is administered by Sustainability and the Environment; and
access to hunting and wetlands is frequently under the jurisdiction of Parks
Victoria. The state, despite the barriers, already derives significant
benefit from these activities.
The annual direct expenditure of duck hunters is estimated by the minister
to be $40 million. The indirect expenditure will be tens of millions more.
Fishing, boating and off-road enthusiasts contribute an estimated $6.3
Our piecemeal approach to these recreations, our lack of current economic
data, poor promotion of these recreational opportunities and our failure to
manage them in a co-ordinated manner are increasingly evident.
Since then-premier John Cain redirected the proceeds of game licences to
consolidated revenue in the 1980s, no further wetlands have been bought or
preserved by the state.
The loss of this program has been a loss to the environment.
However, duck hunters can look back on a legacy that will never be matched
by protesters who have left no such benefit and who continue to confuse
animal rights with conservation.
Bill Patterson is chairman of Field and Game Australia
Laurie Levy: The Case Against
THIS is the first year that the Department of Primary Industries, under a
National Party Minister for Agriculture, will be in charge of the Victorian
In a dangerous move for Australia's native waterbirds, the Baillieu
Government has transferred control of recreational duck shooting from
Sustainability and Environment to Game Victoria, a new game management unit
in the DPI.
Wildlife compliance officers from the DSE who are also duck shooters have
moved across to Game Victoria. In what we believe is a serious conflict of
interest, many of these officers are not only duck shooters, but office
bearers for the shooting organisations Field and Game Australia and the
Sporting Shooters Association.
This is the equivalent of the Government hiring arsonists and pyromaniacs to
run the CFA.
While rescuers have been charged by the DPI for blowing whistles, no one has
been charged for an incident at last year's opening in which one rescuer was
shot in the face and lucky not to have lost her sight. This was the first
time a rescuer had been shot in the 25-year history of the campaign.
This year all of our rescuers will be wearing protective eyewear. We have
managed to obtain ballistic military safety goggles, the same that are used
by Australian soldiers in overseas war zones.
Out of duck-shooting seasons, police will come down on anyone who harms
native ducks, even by throwing stones. Yet in duck season, shooters are
exempt from prosecution for acts of extreme cruelty.
The last official survey, a 2007 Morgan Poll, found three in four
Victorians want duck shooting banned. Instead of pandering to a tiny
minority, it's time for the Government to ban duck shooting and introduce
The RSPCA has its hands tied. It cannot prosecute because duck shooting is
legalised, government-sanctioned cruelty.
The RSPCA opposes duck shooting, even referring to the opening of the season
as "Victoria's Day of Shame", and for many years the Victorian Government's
own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee has recommended a ban.
There is growing public awareness and concern about cruelty, whether it be
cattle sent to Indonesia for slaughter or cruelty inflicted on waterbirds.
According to DSE statistics, last year's opening at Lake Buloke, near
Donald, only attracted 400 duck shooters. Twenty years ago Lake Buloke would
see more than 10,000 shooters on opening weekend.
The numbers of licensed duck shooters in Victoria has fallen from 95,000 in
1986 to about 20,000.
The last official survey, a 2007 Morgan Poll, found three in four Victorians
want duck shooting banned. Instead of pandering to a tiny minority, it's
time for the Government to ban duck shooting and introduce nature-based
This would create country jobs and attract thousands of tourists to Phillip
Island with its penguins and Warrnambool with its southern right whales.
Laurie Levy is Coalition Against Duck Shooting campaign manager"
All I get is "Login to read the rest of this article". If this is the kind
of attitude they have towards protesters then it's going to be an
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