LETTER: End to shooting would boost tourism

As the sun set on this year’s duck shooting season, the extremely low numbers of duck shooters out on Victoria’s wetlands over the past three months makes it easy for the government to finally ban this outdated, violent and cruel activity for all time. 

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio played an important role this year in protecting Aust­ralia’s threatened species by closing many wetlands to shooting, much to the chagrin of the dwindling number of duck shooters. 

But duck shooters have also been responsible for being a financial drain on small regional towns for years, denying residents the­ ­opportunity to establish thriving nature-based tourism industries.

While Victorian regional cities are doing well, country towns have been in serious financial trouble with banks, footy clubs and small businesses closing down.

When duck shooting is banned in Victoria, regional towns will be able to put everything into following in the footsteps the highly successful Phillip Island tourism model, which saw over one million tourists visit in the past financial year. 

In north-west Victoria, the 23 magnificent Kerang Ramsar wetlands have the potential to entice tourists and bird watchers from all over the world. 

All it takes is politicians with ­vision. We believe that a new nature-

based tourism industry is on the way for regional Victorians, that will enhance their towns and bring financial security.

Laurie Levy, 

Coalition Against Duck Shooting

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