I write in absolute disgust.
I have just been a victim of the 2016 duck opening at Richardson’s Lagoon in Torrumbarry.
My land has been vandalised, I have been shot at, I have been abused and I had to stand by and watch groups of army-clad men with rifles and guns speed up and down the waterway in boats, shooting only metres from my house.
Snipers have hidden in tree stumps and bushes metres from my house and shot bullets towards me.
As I write there are many baby ducklings without mothers that now have to fend for themselves. The poor things are only golf ball size. Their mothers shot dead while some are still injured and will die over the next few days.
Feathers, guts, body parts are left along the banks of the lagoon.
Human faeces sit on my property with toilet paper strewn on top and alongside.
Trees have been cut down. Bullet cartridges are left on the land and in the water.
I have been advised by the police to stay inside my house during the siege.
I refuse to hide in my house while duck shooters wreak havoc in my immediate surrounds and on my private property.
I have witnessed the hundreds of native waterbirds that live here fly confused amid thousands of shots. They are all but gone now.
I am a landowner and I make my living from this land as do other farmers along the banks of Richardson’s Lagoon.
I have witnessed blatant disregard and disrespect for this cultural site. My land is a Wollithica burial ground and I am the keeper.
I have witnessed the blatant disregard for federal law. Shooting on private property and carrying firearms on private property without permission.
I have been bullied, intimidated, forced to retaliate and put into a corner with no other means of justice.
Farmers and landowners such as myself are tired of the strong gun lobby groups that exercise their power along the peaceful waterways of the Murray.
All farmers know about guns, we use them in our daily living to rid our lands of pest animal species like rabbits, foxes and feral cats and to put down sick and dying farm stock and animals. We know about guns.
I have witnessed the total waste of taxpayers’ money to monitor and negotiate situations with duck shooters and landowners.
The mass carnage and killing orgy of native bird species is abominable and repulsive and does not sit congruently with the landowners’ responsibility of caring for country and sustainable farm practice.
Richardson’s Lagoon and other wetlands along the Murray River are living museums of nature and history that are being desecrated by a bunch of rednecks that think they can come from the city and blast away all life and nature, s*** on the land and then leave to go home on Sunday afternoon.
This must stop. This is the last duck opening for Richardson’s Lagoon. There are many voters and lobby groups that will wholeheartedly agree and add credence to my words. So listen carefully.
We will do this for our children and our grandchildren.Opinion written by Tuesday Browell, Torrumbarry