A Victorian Parliament Committee is conducting an inquiry which crosses over a number of areas related to hunting and wildlife management on public land. We're encouraging all hunters to make a submission.
The full details of the inquiry are:
That, under s 33 of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, an inquiry be referred to the Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee for consideration and report no later than 30 March 2017 into the benefits of Parks Victoria and other agencies such as the Game Management Authority’s use of community hunting organisations and individuals in the control of invasive animals on Crown land including but not limited to the following:
1. assessment of the biodiversity outcomes, community safety and limitations of the trial conducted by Parks Victoria on control of deer populations in a national park;
2. consideration of the application of these types of programs for other invasive animal species in partnership with Crown land managers;
3. assessment of the relative costs and benefits, financial or otherwise, of other forms of pest control in national parks.
Inquiries such as this have the potential to influence government policy and their report (due in March next year) could have impacts on the next state election (less than eighteen months later). The people who oppose us have the potential to similarly use this inquiry as a platform for their agenda.
The timeframe for submissions was very tight – originally due Monday August 8, but there has been an extension to the deadline.
Submissions are due on Monday September 5, 2016.
Submissions can be made in writing (by email or hard copy) or by using the parliament’s e-submission process.
All hunters are encouraged to make a submission. It does not need to be long, it should be written in your own words and should address the terms of reference (above).
Some points you might want to focus on include:
- Recreational hunting on public land in Victoria has an exceptional safety record.
- The programs involving recreational hunters and Parks Victoria on public land have an exceptional safety record in high use and built up areas.
- Recreational hunting is part of the picture. Hunters should be part of a humane, targeted, coordinated and funded game and pest management program.
- Programs are highly appropriate where normal hunting is not possible but have constraints (e.g. costs and the availability of hunters at set times).
- The most effective and cost effective option is to open public land to recreational hunting where there is no good reason not to do so and to provide targets and incentives to meet control needs.
- The management of wildlife by hunters on public land needs good coordination to be effective. The Game Management Authority is the government agency best placed to deliver this.
- Proper research and a proper management strategy are needed to get the best results from control efforts.
- Public land hunting has the opportunity to provide a niche tourism opportunity and to provide revenue for Victoria to offset the cost of wildlife management. Government should adopt a strategy to support and promote this.