TAXPAYERS’ MONEY BLOWN AWAY AS THE BRACKS GOVERNMENT HANDS OVER $200,000 TO DUCK SHOOTERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO TEACH THEM HOW TO SHOOT ACCURATELY
released on Sunday 13 May 2007
Campaign Director Laurie Levy today said: “The Bracks Government is finally acknowledging that waterbird wounding rates are unacceptable during duck-shooting seasons. But instead of heeding the public’s calls to ban this outdated activity (a 2003 ACNielsen poll showed that 70 percent of city and country Victorians want the recreational shooting of native waterbirds banned), Bracks has allocated $200,000 of taxpayer’s money in an attempt to teach Victoria’s dwindling number of duck shooters to shoot accurately.
“Instead of pandering to duck shooters and wasting taxpayers’ money on a dying activity, the Bracks Government should immediately ban duck shooting. The Government’s own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) has repeatedly recommended that duck shooting be banned because of cruelty. Three State Labor Governments have already banned the recreational shooting of native waterbirds, WA in 1990, NSW in 1995 and Queensland in 2005. Both NSW and Queensland banned the activity following recommendations from their AWACs.
“Part of the government’s financial allocation will be used this weekend with the gun clubs bringing out US ballistics expert and duck shooter, Tom Roster, to conduct classes in an attempt to teach Victorian duck hunters to shoot accurately.
“Yet this is the same Tom Roster who recently told American duck shooters that unless they could bring down the wounding rate, then duck shooting in the US would go the same way it has in Australia (referring to the bans in WA, NSW and now Queensland),” Levy continued.
“Shotguns discharge a couple of hundred pellets, which spray out and invariably wound birds. In their eagerness, duck-shooters continually fire at native waterbirds out of shotgun range, they also fire at flocks of birds, frequently wounding their victims.
“Waterbirds are declining worldwide, Australian waterbird numbers are dangerously low, and more frequent El Ninos and droughts are expected. Climate change has already decimated native waterbird numbers and the situation is only going to get worse. It is not only ridiculous, but extremely irresponsible of the Bracks Government to pour taxpayers’ money into encouraging the destruction of even more native waterbirds, just so Victoria’s few remaining duck shooters can get their thrills,” Levy concluded.
For further information contact: Laurie Levy, campaign director, Mobile 0418 392826
304/78 Eastern Rd, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 Tel 03 9645 8879 Mobile 0418 392826
Call for Federal Government to take control of native waterbirds
Media Conference: 10.30am, Friday 23 March – Steps of Parliament House, Hobart
Victorian Duck Rescue Team will tackle Tasmanian shooters at Moulting Lagoon on Saturday 24 March 2007
released on Monday 19 March 2007
The Coalition Against Duck Shooting today slammed the Tasmanian Government for allowing a duck-shooting season to go ahead in 2007. The decision places extreme pressure on Australia’s native waterbirds, already in serious trouble due to the on-going 10-year drought.
Last month, Australia’s leading waterbird scientist Professor Richard Kingsford from the University of NSW, publicly warned that some species will be threatened when adult birds (future breeders) are shot during the Tasmanian duck-shooting season. Victoria and South Australia have called moratoriums for this reason while Western Australia, NSW and Queensland, have permanently banned the recreational shooting of native waterbirds.
Campaign Director Laurie Levy today said: “Because of global warming and climate change, followed by more frequent El Ninos, it is time for the Federal Government to take charge of Australia’s native waterbirds, in the same way the Federal Government has stepped in to take control of the Murray Darling River system. The Tasmanian Government has consistently shown itself to be unfit to make the tough decisions required to protect Australia’s native waterbirds.
“Tasmania’s Primary Industry Minister, David Llewellyn, has ignored the best environmental and scientific advice in order to placate Tasmania’s duck shooters. Shortening the season only provides a two-week reprieve but does nothing to safeguard native waterbirds in the long-term. It’s the equivalent of dealing with the water shortage issue by imposing watering restrictions for two weeks but then leaving the taps running for the next two-and-a-half months. The only responsible decision was for Llewellyn to have called a moratorium as mainland states have done,” Levy said.
“Primary Industry and Environment Ministers in Tasmania have always regarded native waterbirds as playthings for shooters without considering the long-term ramifications their decisions have on native waterbird populations across Australia. These important decisions, which may now result in the demise of some species, must be taken out of their hands,” Levy continued.
“Native waterbirds are nomadic, they fly between states and across Bass Strait, so we cannot have recalcitrant state governments, like the Tasmanian Government, making political decisions without considering the overall population numbers across the mainland.
“As well as being a cruelty issue, duck shooting is now very much a sustainability problem, which must be addressed as soon as possible.
“The Coalition Against Duck Shooting rescue team will tackle duck shooters at Moulting Lagoon, the entrance to Freycinet National Park, at the opening of the season, Saturday morning 24 March 2007. However, as waterbird numbers are extremely low we would advise shooters that Moulting Lagoon will be considered a ‘shooter free zone’, and to keep away,” Levy concluded.
A media conference will be held on the steps of Parliament House, Hobart, at 10.30am, Friday 23 March 2007.
For further information contact: Laurie Levy Campaign Director Mobile 0418 392 826