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Shooting body change faces opposition

By Country News

A move to give the Game Management Authority more responsibility has faced opposition in Victorian Parliament after the government voiced concerns it would lead to the body’s demise.

The amendment, put forward by State Member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young, hopes to make the Game Management Authority more efficient and responsive to hunting in Victoria.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford told parliament earlier this month she believed giving the GMA more responsibility was a ‘‘really bad’’ idea that would only ‘‘serve to hasten the demise’’.

‘‘My point is that right now it is not a good time to give the GMA a whole lot of extra things to do, because we have a report that states fairly clearly that they are not coping very well with the things that they are already required to do,’’ Ms Pulford said.

‘‘I know that people will probably say, ‘what about resources?’. The report makes it clear that there is much more to this problem than resources.

‘‘There is the question of the culture that exists within the organisation. The reforms that are required are significant and they are under way, but these are very early days in that journey.’’

Mr Young accused the government of hiding behind the report and called for the objectives and functions of the GMA to be expanded and for the body to be brought in line with the framework provided for Victorian Fisheries Authority.

‘‘The legislation for the Victorian Fisheries Authority provides a framework the government says works well, and I agree,’’ Mr Young said.

‘‘My amendments would provide the GMA with the same framework.

‘‘On the one hand, the minister claims the GMA’s current system is broken. However, on the other hand, the minister says she does not want to fix the system with a framework that is working really well for the Victorian Fisheries Authority.’’

Mr Young’s amendments were ultimately carried through the Legislative Council and are set to go before the Legislative Assembly in the coming weeks.