The Andrews Labor Government has refused to oppose a push by an extreme anti-hunting group to ban duck shooting, raising questions on whether there will be a season in 2021.
The Coalition Against Duck Shooting is running a negative campaign to discredit Victoria’s law-abiding, legitimate hunters.
Asked in State Parliament this week to stand up for Victorian recreational shooters against the misinformation being spread by the group, Labor’s Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes sat on the fence – refusing to call out the lies or commit to a 2021 season.
“Hunting in Victoria is on track for destruction while the Andrews Labor Government is desperate to pander to radical green activists in Melbourne,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Agriculture Minister claims to be informed by the facts, but then refuses to stand against groups that are actively spreading lies to see a strictly regulated, legitimate pastime become a thing of the past.
“Hunting generates $356 million for our state, supports thousands of jobs and brings families out to regional Victoria for a weekend away.
“After bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic, but now with a wet winter and spring a full 2021 season will be a confidence booster for local businesses and communities.”
Coronavirus restrictions saw many prevented from getting out during the 2020 season. Mr Walsh said hunters will be keenly looking forward to the 2021 season announcement.
“The Liberal Nationals strongly support Victoria’s thousands of law-abiding, legitimate hunters,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Andrews Labor Government has slowly but surely chipped away at the rights of Victorian hunters since it was elected.
“As the Minister responsible for approving, or cancelling, the duck hunting season, Jaclyn Symes must decide who she stands with – Victorian hunters or the radical lies of groups that would rather see hunting banned.”