Delay is ‘snub to hunters’

By Country News

Proposed changes to the Game Management Authority continue to cause controversy in the Legislative Council, with the Victorian Government accused of deliberately stalling the bill.

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

Yet Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford previously told parliament she believed giving the GMA more responsibility was a ‘‘really bad’’ idea that would ‘‘serve to hasten the demise’’ of the authority.

The bill, which passed the Legislative Council, is currently awaiting debate in the Legislative Assembly, with Mr Young claiming the bill is being stalled in an ‘‘apparent snub to hunters’’.

‘‘More than a year has passed, so why has the work not been done to quantify the minister’s assertion that extra resourcing and funding would be needed by the GMA?’’ Mr Young asked the agriculture minister.

Responding to Mr Young’s questions in parliament, Ms Pulford said the Game Management Authority did not pass its first significant test and needed to refocus.

‘‘But right now the GMA is focused on getting its basics done well and getting itself back in order,’’ Ms Pulford told parliament.

‘‘The GMA, frankly, needs to be able to walk before it can run.’’