Duck protesters should receive the same stringent law enforcement that hunters receive every duck season. In addition, protesters should keep a distance of over 100m, not the token 10m currently legislated.
Repeat offenders should receive lifetime bans from the wetlands that they only visit when they intend to interfere with legal hunting activities.
Hunters are calling on the GMA to apply the same enforcement to protesters/activists as duck hunters receive.
The GMA reported a woman has pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court to two public safety offences committed on the opening weekend of Victoria’s 2019 duck hunting season at Lake Struan State Game Reserve.
The womanreceived a $400 fine and was placed on a good behaviour bond until 21 December 2022 for offences including unlawfully entering a specified hunting area and approaching a person within 10 metres who is hunting.
Those who oppose duck hunting have the right to protest, however, they must do so safely and legally.
Public safety laws are in place to protect all members of the community including hunters, Authorised Officers and protestors themselves.
There are significant penalties for protestors unlawfully entering, or remaining on a specified hunting area, approaching hunters within 10 metres or interfering with, hindering, harassing or obstructing hunters.
Know your rules and report any illegal protester activity.
Hunters and the public are urged to report illegal hunting and public safety offences to the GMA through its website www.gma.vic.gov.au or the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186, or by contacting Victoria Police.
The following restrictions apply to unauthorised people who enter and remain on specified hunting areas during the open season for ducks. Specified hunting areas are all State Game Reserves and hunting areas listed in Schedule 8 of the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012. An unauthorised person is someone who does not have a valid Game Licence endorsed for duck and a Firearm Licence.
It is an offence for an unauthorised person to enter or remain in a specified hunting area between the following hours:
- From midnight of the first day of duck season until 10 a.m. of that day
- From 2 hours before sunset of each day of duck season (including the first day) until 10 a.m. of the following day
- From 2 hours before sunset of the last day of the duck season until 30 minutes after sunset of that day (Note: These restrictions only apply to the waterbody and extend out to 25 metres from the water’s edge.)
It is an offence for an unauthorised person to approach within 10 metres of a person who is carrying a firearm or actively hunting ducks in specified hunting areas during the duck season.
It is an offence for anyone to hinder, harass, interfere with, or obstruct a person engaged in hunting at any location and time.