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Opinion: Navigating racist woke politics and flawed conservation debates

Australia is a land of rich biodiversity and natural beauty, offering a unique opportunity for hunting enthusiasts to connect with nature and partake in the oldest of age-old traditions. 

However, in recent years, there has been a growing concern among non-Indigenous hunters that our cherished hunting culture, deeply rooted in European traditions, is under threat due to the rise of woke politics, animal rights activism and the “conservation” lock-it-up-and-leave-it movement. 

One of the most significant controversies recently in this regard, I believe, is the recent report to the Victorian Parliament. This report recommended ending the duck hunting season in Victoria for non-Indigenous Australians while allowing it to continue for traditional owners. 

In this article, I would like to explore with you the concerns of non-Indigenous hunters and shed light on the complex issues surrounding our hunting culture in contemporary Australia.


European hunting traditions have a long and storied history, dating back centuries — millennia, in fact. Hunting has been an integral part of European culture, providing sustenance, recreation and a deep connection to the land. 

When European settlers arrived in Australia, they brought these traditions with them, adapting them to the unique Australian landscape and fauna. 

Over time, this led to the development of a distinct hunting culture in Australia, where enthusiasts pursued game such as ducks, deer and feral animals as a means of sustenance, recreation, conservation and, importantly, connection. Connection with their family, culture and traditions of the countries they left behind.


Woke politics, characterised by a crazy so-called “heightened” awareness of social justice issues and a strong desire for “inclusivity and equality”, has had a significant impact on various aspects of Australian society. 

While it has brought about positive change in some areas, it has also led to heightened scrutiny of traditional practices like hunting. 

The woke movement led by the Greens and Animal Justice usually oversimplify complex issues. They are all too ready to portray a negative perception of European hunting traditions as inherently harmful to the environment, a shadow of the so-called “white patriarchy” and colonialism that was disrespectful to Indigenous cultures.


Environmental activists have been particularly vocal in their opposition to hunting in Australia. They argue that non-Indigenous hunting practices pose a threat to native wildlife and their habitats. 

The focus of their criticism often centres on duck hunting, which they claim disrupts ecosystems and poses risks to waterfowl populations. 

Their concerns have been proven by Professor Kingsford to be totally invalid (see pages 64-65 of the report). Professor Kingsford has stated that hunting does not have an impact on the waterfowl population in Australia. 

So, basically it comes down to the fact that some people don’t like hunting, plain and simple. 

The anti-everything woke group also refuses to recognise that responsible hunting can contribute to conservation efforts by managing invasive species and controlling wildlife populations. They believe that since it has also been predominantly a white male cultural activity, it must be destroyed — to use their words “smash the patriarchy”.


The animal rights movement has gained momentum in Australia, with organisations like the Animal Justice Party advocating for ridiculous regulations and a total ban on hunting practices. 

Make no mistake about it, our culture and hunting way of life is under attack and they will keep coming and coming and coming. Urban ignorance is the backbone of their support and it is growing.


One of the most contentious issues in recent years is the report to the Victorian Parliament, which recommended ending the duck hunting season in Victoria for non-Indigenous Australians but allowing it to continue for traditional owners. This proposal has ignited passionate debates on both sides of the issue.

Supporters of the report argue that it acknowledges the cultural significance of hunting to Indigenous communities and seeks to rectify historical injustices. They assert that Indigenous Australians have a deep connection to the land and its resources, and their hunting practices should be respected and preserved.

For the rest of us non-Indigenous hunters this recommendation is discriminatory and divisive. Our hunting practices have also been deeply ingrained in Australian culture. 

Banning non-Indigenous hunting while permitting it for traditional owners sends a troubling message of exclusion and bias. Our hunting culture is just as deep-rooted in self as theirs.


Non-Indigenous hunters in Australia have legitimate concerns about the impact of woke politics, environmental activism and the animal rights movement on our cherished traditions. Here are some of the key concerns:

1. Cultural disregard: The hunting traditions and cultural heritage of non-indigenous Australians is being disregarded and disrespected. Hunting has been a part of Australian culture since the first people set foot on this land and it continued during settlement, periods of immigration and it continues today. It is simply bigoted to refuse to acknowledge there is also a rich legacy of culture and traditional hunting practices that people who have moved to Australia brought with them. 

For instance, my hunting background is Polish. Polish hunting and fishing culture and traditions can indeed be traced back for 500,000 years when the first known hominid hunter-gatherers lived in Tunel Wielki cave in Małopolska.

2. Economic implications: Hunting is a major economic driver in Australia with an economic impact of $2.4 billion in 2018-19. In regional NSW the socio-economic benefits of recreational hunting cannot be ignored. Government and independent studies repeatedly illuminate how hunting-related tourism bolsters local economies, creating jobs and supporting rural communities. 

This economic support underlines the harmonious coexistence of conservation and responsible hunting and fishing practices. Moreover, traditional indigenous and non-indigenous fishing and hunting have been intertwined with community well-being and sustenance for generations.

3. Conservation efforts: Responsible hunting can and does play a vital role in conservation by managing game and pest species, helping to control wildlife populations such as kangaroos. Not only that, the anti-hunting mob will never admit to the fact that most of the major wetlands were preserved for hunting and are now important RAMSAR listed wetlands! 

They are blind to the fact and refuse to admit that banning hunting will have unintended negative consequences for the environment!

4. Inclusivity and equality: The woke movement often touts inclusivity and equality for all Australians, rather than singling out specific groups for exclusion. They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to engage in their cultural practices within the bounds of ethical and legal considerations. 

But — and there is a big but — as long as it doesn’t include being inclusive of the culture and traditions around hunting. 

As hunters, we are best placed to respect the cultural significance of hunting to Indigenous communities and there should be opportunities for collaboration and shared knowledge. A more inclusive approach that promotes dialogue between different cultural groups will lead to a better understanding of hunting’s role in Australian society.


If you aren’t worried about the impact of woke politics, environmental activism and animal rights activism on hunting then you should be! Our hunting traditions, adapted to the Australian landscape, have a deep-rooted history and cultural significance that should not be dismissed lightly.

The recent recommendation to end the duck hunting season in Victoria for non-Indigenous Australians while allowing it to continue for traditional owners should spark passionate debates about the need for a balanced and inclusive approach. It is crucial to respect and preserve the cultural heritage of all Australians while also addressing valid environmental and ethical concerns.

In navigating this complex issue, we have an opportunity to find common ground and promote dialogue between different cultural groups. This could in fact lead to a more inclusive and equitable approach to hunting and conservation, where all Australians can play a role in protecting the nation’s natural beauty and biodiversity while preserving their cultural traditions. 

Ultimately, a nuanced and collaborative approach is necessary to address our challenges and concerns and promote a harmonious coexistence between cultural heritage, conservation and social progress for the good of all Australians and the wildlife we hunt, utilise and cherish, as well as the unique and wonderful country we hunt on.




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Robert Borsak MLC

Robert Borsak was elected to the NSW Legislative Council in 2010 and has consistently fought for the rights of everyday Australians to live their lives without undue constraint. He is the chairman of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party. Robert enjoys all forms of hunting and fishing.