Bendigo Advertiser Letters to the Editor: Sporting Shooters Association of Victoria on Green claims

‘The Greens are the new invasive species in the bush’

In typical Greens fashion, The Greens candidate for Northern Victoria Nicole Rowan wants us to sit back and look at nature rather than be a part of it (“Bad for the country? The Greens are the county”, Bendigo Advertiser, Opinion, August 3).

She and The Greens want us to feel that, as humans, we are guilty interlopers on nature and that our desire to hunt our food and use the resources available to us is abhorrently unnatural, even though humans have done so for time immemorial.

They want to end hunting in Victoria and replace it with tourism. Hunting is tourism and it successfully co-exists with other tourism, to the benefit of all regional Victoria.

Where is this “plethora of independent economic studies” Rowan can’t seem to name which “show duck shooting is detrimental to rural areas”?

We can produce at least one independent study which shows Rowan is just plain wrong.

Estimating the Economic Impact of Hunting in Victoria in 2013 carried out by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries showed that duck hunting tourism alone had a positive and direct $43 million impact on the state.

In total figures, hunting tourism brought a total of $439 million to regional Victoria in that year alone. Probably a lot more now that hunting has increased in popularity in the past five years.

No facts fudged there. That’s an independent government report, unlike the supportive document for the Great Forest National Park.

The document (Great Forest National Park: economic contribution of park establishment, park management, and visitor expenditure) was funded by corporate pro-Green giants The Wilderness Society.

In total figures, hunting tourism brought a total of $439 million to regional Victoria in that year alone. Probably a lot more now that hunting has increased in popularity in the past five years.

The very beginning of the executive summary on the report reads “Nous Group (Nous) was engaged by The Wilderness Society to undertake a narrowly scoped analysis”.

Is it narrowly scoped because they don’t want us to know the whole truth about the massive tax-payer burden to replace the current income from the areas earmarked in this sop to inner-city voters who never visit the bush?

And The Greens want us to believe it’s the other parties and politicians who use “facts rather loosely”.

From this evidence it appears Rowan and The Greens want to rob regional towns of real, tested, studied and proven hunting-tourism dollars and replace them with yet another eco-tourism fantasy. They want to deny Victorian families fresh, organic, free-range food hunted on public land and feed us supermarket sausages served up on plastic trays.

SSAA Victoria believes our bush should be open to everyone, especially the hunters who are the real environmentalists. It was hunters who restored Victoria’s wetlands where game and protected species (and tourism) now thrive, and it is hunters who control invasive species in the bush.

The Greens are the new invasive species in the bush. Only voters can control them.

Jack Wegman, CEO, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria)

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