The majority of the Victorian community is dismayed that yet another duck shooting season will go ahead, with the approval of the government, beginning on 17 March and running to the long weekend in June. Eighty-seven per cent of Victorians are opposed to duck shooting, including in regional Victoria, seen by the formation of Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting, who have been making great inroads and getting a lot of support amongst regional Victorians to end duck shooting. Victorians are appalled that this barbaric activity is allowed to continue in spite of massacres of ducks in the past few years. The 2016 season should have been cancelled due to extreme drought and desperately low water levels, together with a high incidence of blue-green algae in many of the lakes. Similarly the 2017 season should been cancelled due to the lowest number of birds ever recorded and many game bird species with low numbers by order of magnitude, which I raised at the Parliament last year. Also the Game Management Authority was warned of the presence of protected birds on the Kerang wetlands, but still those wetlands were not closed and we saw the massacre of birds.
This season should also be cancelled due to drought, high temperatures forecast — as we can see this week — few wetland habitats, low numbers of birds and the fact that they are not breeding. Shooting is clearly unable to be monitored or controlled, yet sadly the season will go ahead despite overwhelming evidence that it should not.