Too far to walk to enter the QEO
Five weeks before BFL finals football is to be played an area of the QEO is ripped up for new buildings to be installed. Spectators and supporters of the various football teams that play there have obviously not been considered re the current situation with only one entrance to the QEO.
If they get to ground early they can get limited parking close to the ground, if they are a bit later the closest street parking is about a kilometre away or more.
This necessitates a long walk to the ground then another long walk up to the house which is inside the QEO, around to the back of the house nearly to the look-out tower then back down to the only manned entrance, which is situated near the ladies netball courts which are near the swimming pool. If you (and a lot of spectators do) like to sit in the grandstand which has cover from rain and strong wind it means that you have to walk about another three quarters of the circumference of the oval to get there. Surely a short walkway could be provided for supporters from the usual entrance. The present situation is a disgrace.
Rex Nancarrow, Bendigo
Duck figures don’t add up
Tim Robinson (“Is it time to rethink duck shooting v wetland tourism”, Bendigo Advertiser, August 10), presents a flimsy argument and rubbery figures to support his contention that legal duck hunting in Victoria is preventing a boom in cultural and ecotourism that will add thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to regional economies.
The official data contained in the 2016-17 Economic Contribution of Tourism to Victoria’s Regions report states that the Goldfields region contributed $416 million or 3.4 per cent of the state’s gross regional product from tourism. The share of employment from all tourism in the region has been static at around 5 per cent for a decade.
A 2011 inquiry by the now defunct Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission heard evidence from the department that managed public lands that there was little commercial interest in the development of large scale nature-based tourist facilities and a call for private sector expressions of interest in nature based accommodation in forest reserves failed to elicit any proposals.
Nearly a decade on, there is still no evidence of an impending ecotourism boom. Mr Robinson’s “ban it and they will come” approach to tourism ignores the economic impact of hunting.
A 2013 study commissioned by the Victorian Government estimated $14.6m and 90 jobs were generated by hunting in Greater Bendigo alone. This is not an argument against ecotourism or indigenous tourism; both are also welcome.
Hunters saved hundreds of Victoria’s wetlands from destruction when they volunteered to pay a levy so long as the money raised was used to purchase and protect them as state game reserves.
Sixty years later hunters are still the primary contributors to volunteer wetland conservation.
Because they place a high value on the wetlands and the opportunity to harvest wild food for the family table during a short 12 week season.
Cultural and heritage tourism may be an opportunity on one or two iconic wetlands but the suggestion the myriad of lakes, swamps and billabongs that abound near every regional town will all attract hordes of tourists is fanciful.
Richard Light, CEO, Field & Game Australia
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