Petition opposes Surf Coast Shire Council's move to stop hunting

Published Wed 29 May 2024

Last night at a meeting of Surf Coast Shire Council at Moriac, near Geelong, FGA representatives were present as two petitions were tabled in relation to the council’s ‘Motion 157’ which seeks to have three local lakes closed to duck hunting. You can watch local resident Glenn Falla's address to the council via THIS LINK. (Glenn's address begins about 10 minutes into the video.)

One of the petitions opposed the council’s move (316 signatories, 168 of whom live in the shire), while the other supported it (302 signatories, 109 of whom live in the shire). It should be noted that the petition supporting the motion to seek the closures was not submitted within the council’s required timeframe nor did it meet the council’s required protocol, however it was accepted regardless.

During the meeting, the council acknowledged it had not undertaken detailed consultation before seeking to end hunting at these lakes, due to the fact the council does not actually have the power itself to make a decision on such a closure. The council also recognised the importance of hunting in the area to some residents and thanked those who had attended to put their views forward, which it said offered a greater understanding of the issue for the council members.

FGA has extended an invitation to all councillors to visit Connewarre Wetland Centre to learn more about safe and responsible hunting and to witness the conservation work that has been the core of the organisation since 1958.

The meeting attracted a good attendance of those who are pro-hunting in yet another example of hunters taking action, turning up, having proactive conversations and making their views known on issues that have the potential to erode the traditions and lifestyle we love.

FGA would like to give a particular shout-out to MP Bev McArthur, who used her member’s statement in parliament yesterday to encourage interested parties to attend the council meeting. You can watch Bev’s speech HERE.

Bev also used her time to encourage her fellow MPs to visit the Responsible Shooting Expo currently in Queens Hall at the Parliament of Victora, where representatives of FGA, SSAA, ADA and VAPA are leading the conversations that promote our safe, legal and sustainable recreational activities.

FGA has had productive conversations with a number of MPs during the past two days, including Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party’s Jeff Bourman, the Nationals’ Shadow Environment Minister Emma Kealy, and Labor’s Environment and Outdoor Recreation Minister Steve Dimopoulos.

It’s been fantastic to see bi-partisan support for responsible and sustainable hunting, and for target shooting, and we trust such conversations will continue.