The Victorian government’s expected ban on duck hunting is “nothing short of racist apartheid” and “a politically motivated decision that disregards the scientific consensus,” NSW Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Robert Borsak says.
His comments come in response to a parliamentary report that recommends the ban be applied to everyone except First Nations people, which Borsak said “discriminates against white cultural hunting”.
“Hunting in Australia is a deeply entrenched cultural tradition with significant contributions to conservation,” he said.
The parliamentary report acknowledged that “the majority of submitters who supported native bird hunting detailed the strong traditional and family connection they had to the activity” and provided examples from people of varying backgrounds including First Nations people.
It also noted that many First Nations people supported hunting by all Australians.
Despite this, the report recommended that only “Traditional Owner hunting rights be maintained”.
Mr Borsak also said the report had ignored “robust evidence … indicating hunting’s negligible impact on waterfowl populations”.
“Professor Kingsford’s much renowned research in waterfowl ecology has acknowledged that hunting has no detrimental effects on Australian waterfowl populations,” he said.
“This study underscores the responsible and sustainable practices adopted by hunters and their essential role in conservation.”
He called on the Victorian government to reconsider its position but said it “appears determined to proceed” with a ban.
“We urge the Victorian State Government to heed the experts, respect the rights of law-abiding hunters, both indigenous and non-indigenous, and recognise their invaluable contributions to our heritage and environment,” he said.