Victoria duck hunting season should be banned: inquiry

Nationals MP Melina Bath, who sat on the inquiry and is the opposition’s spokeswoman for public land use, said the committee was “stacked” and “biased”.

“This inquiry has wasted many thousands of dollars and countless hours of time to put together a biased and flawed report,” she said.

“The Andrews government, together with the crossbench, have used selective ideological evidence to justify its end game – banning duck hunting.”

Sporting Shooters Association of Australia manager David Laird echoed that sentiment on Thursday, labelling the inquiry a “stitch-up”.

“Eminent, independent experts unequivocally told the select committee that regulated game hunting in Victoria does not threaten the sustainability of native game birds,” he said.


Upper house Liberal MP Evan Mulholland, who sat on the committee, went as far as to suggest the final recommendations were part of a campaign against working-class people’s weekends.

But Animal Justice Party MP Georgie Purcell, another committee member, said a ban on Victoria’s annual duck-hunting season was commonsense and in line with community views.

“Victorians love our wildlife,” she said. “They don’t want to see native animals shot for a thrill kill.

Animal Justice Party MP Georgie Purcell.

Animal Justice Party MP Georgie Purcell.Credit: Twitter

“[And] no matter how well-resourced the Game Management Authority is, monitoring duck shooter compliance is near impossible due to the enormous amount of places that shooting can take place.”

The first-term politician, who has campaigned for an end to duck shooting, described Thursday as “without a doubt my best and most exciting day as an MP so far”.

“But we haven’t won yet,” Purcell said. “The government must accept the recommendations from this final report. To do anything else would be an insult to the majority of Victorians who have wanted this for many, many years.”

Greens MP Katherine Copsey urged the state government to act on the recommendations as quickly as possible.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was yet to read the report, but that its findings would be considered by cabinet.

He said the government typically took three months to respond to parliamentary reports.

Premier Daniel Andrews personally supports duck hunting, but has acknowledged not everyone shares his view.

Premier Daniel Andrews personally supports duck hunting, but has acknowledged not everyone shares his view.Credit: Jason South

“That’s only a guide, you can take as long as you need to take,” Andrews said. “It is a matter of what is in it.”

Victoria’s duck hunting season typically begins in March or April every year. Andrews and Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan both expressed their continued support for the sport earlier this week.


It comes after the government shortened this year’s duck hunting season, which ran from April 26 to May 30. The 2022 season ran from mid-March to the middle of June.

A group of large trade unions, which calls itself the Building Industry Group, on Thursday repeated previous threats that Labor politicians would be banned from government construction sites and workers would walk off major projects if a duck-hunting ban is adopted.

Electrical Trades Union state secretary Troy Gray said the recent inquiry was a farce.

“It is now on the government leadership to decide if it will stand with working-class communities and work in good faith to improve and maintain this important recreation – or side with fringe animal rights activists,” he said.

“This was never about the inquiry; unions, recreational groups, and countless individuals who took the time to submit and appear were ignored.

“Now it’s up to the government, which has been elected many times on a platform that included support for hunting and outdoor recreation, to decide.”

CFMEU Victorian assistant secretary Derek Christopher said a survey of members found 85 per cent of them wanted the union to campaign for their right to “enjoy the outdoors, including the right to hunt”.

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