Calls for duck shooting suspension

By Country News

Goulburn Valley Environment Group has requested a suspension on duck hunting this season on wetlands currently receiving deliveries of environmental water across northern Victoria.

The group contacted the premier and the ministers responsible for the approval of duck hunting, citing environmental concerns including the late timing of water delivery and a burst of vegetation accumulating waterfowl on restricted sites, as reasons why the season should be suspended.

“GVEG have advocated for, and welcomes, these much-needed flows but is concerned that the benefits to the environment and local communities will be undermined by the approaching duck hunting season,” GVEG president John Pettigrew said.

GVEG said the delivery of scarce environmental water to wetlands across northern Victoria currently experiencing drought conditions provided limited refuge for wildlife, and protection for critically threatened wetland vegetation.

The group said the opening of the duck hunting season on these wetlands would undermine these environmental benefits.

Kirsty Ramadan, who lives near Loch Garry Wildlife Reserve on the lower Goulburn River, said the Loch had been dry for years.

“The environmental watering will only partly cover this wetland. It’s already attracting a wide selection of water birds in a confined area,” she said.

“It’s just not right that the benefits of this watering will be put at risk like this.”

GVEG said communities and responsible government departments needed to fully consider the future use of these wetlands following the delivery of environmental water under drought circumstances.