Recreational duck shooting – banned in three Australian states by Labor Premiers
(The campaign to protect native waterbirds commenced in Victoria in 1986 and spread to other states)
1990 West Australia Labor Premier Carmen Lawrence
Following the high-profile duck rescue campaign which commenced in Victoria in 1986, Laurie Levy was contacted by Joan Payne from the West Australian Conservation Council asking if he could fly across to Western Australia to help with their first duck rescue action on the wetlands. Levy flew to Western Australia at the start of 1990 to assist. The campaign was well organised with over 100 rescuers taking to the wetlands. The successful campaign attracted an enormous amount of television, radio and newspaper coverage. Joan Payne and her team continued with extensive follow-up work.
Then, on September 3, 1990, Labor Premier Dr Carmen Lawrence issued a media release stating: “There is widespread opposition throughout the community to the cruelty and environmental damage caused by shooters… Evidence from previous [WA] seasons shows that injured ducks have been left to die, protected species have been shot, and fragile wetlands havebeen polluted by lead and cartridges. Our community has reached a stage of enlightenment where it can no longer accept the institutionalised killing of native birds for recreation.”
Inspired by the Victorian campaign to ban duck shooting, NSW rescuers commenced their wetland campaign in 1987.
When Bob Carr was elected to office in NSW his state Labor Government banned recreational duck shooting, based on recommendations from the NSW Government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee that the inherent cruelty to native waterbirds was not acceptable.
After lobbying from a number of groups, including Animal Liberation Queensland, the RSPCA and Birds Queensland and recommendations from the Queensland Government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee that the inherent cruelty to native waterbirds was unacceptable, the Queensland Labor government banned recreational duck shooting in 2005. At the time, Premier Peter Beattie stated that Queensland was now the smart state for protecting its native waterbirds.