Yesterday afternoon, Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced funding of $5.3 million from the 2016/17 Victorian Budget to support safe, responsible and sustainable hunting.
Speaking from the Heart Morass, where hunters have been restoring over 3,000 acres of wetland habitat for the past 10 years, the announcement follows several weeks of bad news for hunters, with wetland closures across the state impacting on the $439 million that hunting brings annually to the Victorian economy. Minister Pulford also recognised the conservation efforts made by hunters via Twitter:
Minister Pulford said yesterday, "the government is committed to supporting sustainable hunting, [and] to working with members of our hunting community to grow new opportunities".
The minister also commented on the process and procedures for management, and indicated that there may be some changes underway to help truncate the process for more responsive action.
Field & Game Australia welcome further commitment to hunting in Victoria, especially the long-awaited release of the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan.
The details on the funding will follow in the full budget papers. We don't yet know the full details, but Field & Game Australia are hopeful this could be a step in the right direction for the future of hunting in Victoria.