Bendigo Advertiser Letters to the Editor: Wetland tourism v duck shooting

Picture: Christine Ansorge
Picture: Christine Ansorge

Is it time to rethink duck shooting?

I write in regard to Nicole Rowan’s (“Bad for the country? We are the country”, Bendigo Advertiser, Opinion, August 3) and the duck shooting “debate” of  July 2018.

With country Victoria losing billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to duck shooting, isn’t it time to rethink duck shooting?

Duck shooting in Victoria should be looked at for what it really is –  an out of date practice that uses out of date justification from the 1950s, refusing to acknowledge more up-to-date environmental and economic impact studies about duck shooting that are simply damning.

With the Victorian state government finally pushing for more nature-based tourism, opportunities for real growth and long-term jobs in some of the most depressed areas in country Victoria are now possible.

Some of these small country towns are blessed with the most stunning waterways in the world, alongside culturally significant aboriginal sites with incredible wildlife, especially birdlife.

Some of these small country towns are blessed with the most stunning waterways in the world, alongside culturally significant aboriginal sites with incredible wildlife, especially birdlife

Tim Robinson, Baringhup

These areas are ideal for the booming industry of nature-based tourism which is bringing billions of dollars and thousands of jobs elsewhere, which could transform a dying small country town back to life.

The cold hard truth of it is no one is going to invest money in tourist infrastructure if they have to close their businesses for three months of the year for duck shooting, a practise which has almost as much support among the Australian population as whale hunting. Yes, Warrnambool makes money from whale watching, not whale killing. It’s the same with the Phillip Island penguins. Would Phillip island be successful if for three months of the year we allowed penguin shooting?

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Intelligent policy equals more national parks which our stunning landscapes afford us, protecting our struggling ecosystems and leveraging them for prosperity – like other states. Didn’t the Grampians enjoy a whopping 30 per cent increase in visitors once becoming a national park? And this was prior to the popularity of nature tourism!

Is someone really going to cast his vote so he can shoot a few birds? I think survival of small country towns is more important. Recreational duck shooting is banned in QLD, WA, NSW and ACT for reasons of cruelty, public safety and a preference for ecotourism. In Victoria, less than 0.4 per cent of people shoot ducks while over 87 per cent want it banned.

Tim Robinson, Baringhup

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Doctor’s charges

I am concerned with the high prices doctors charge for operations.

I have top health cover and had an operation at the Epworth Hospital and was charged $2500 out of pocket expenses. Why have health cover that costs me $4800 a year when you get ripped off like this? The government should look into it.

Phillip Frichart, Bendigo

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