Duck hunting has benefits
In response to Kerrie Allen (Duck does not “successfully co-exist with tourism” Bendigo Advertiser, September 1). Duck hunting does not stop any other form of tourism.
Duck hunting is nature-based tourism and solid government analysis shows it has significant economic benefit to regional areas such as Donald, Kerang and Boort.
We’re sure the residents of those towns would be bemused by the parallels Ms Allen draws with the Kakadu, one of the world’s iconic tourist destinations.
We agree there are wonderful wetlands in those areas (thanks to the hunters who paid for their restoration), but Ms Allen’s assertion that duck hunting is holding back busloads of tourists is pure eco-fantasy nonsense.
Why does Ms Allen refer to Phillip Island instead of the Winton Wetlands (nee Lake Mokoan) as an example of eco-tourism success? Is it because the $20 million Winton experiment is an economic failure after hunters and other genuine eco-tourists were kicked out?
Ms Allen also leans on the oft-quoted but apparently unidentifiable “independent studies” when trying to counter the argument that hunting is tourism.
Given all the other statistics produced in her letter, if these studies existed, surely a finding or two from them would be worth a mention.
They would, after all, add some credence to her argument. Instead Ms Allen wants us to believe she is the victim.
We do not accept that defending hunting against this level of unsubstantiated bigotry is unfair.
Hunters want to put fresh, free-range, organic food on their family tables, as humans have done for all our existence, without retribution.
Instead we are subjected to aggressive campaigns by agenda-driven eco-facists such as Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting who refuse to see the possibility of co-existence.
Jack Wegman, CEO Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria)
Use Lake Mokoan as an example
Kerrie Allen's letter opposing duck hunting includes some important fallacies. Her opening assertion that responses by officials of hunting organisations are "unfair" would deny right of reply to opposing views. No "unfair attacks" nor "retribution" to rural people, only putting the facts in response to anti hunting.
Perhaps the more relevant response to supposed eco-tourism is to consider its effect on a real life Victorian example, Lake Mokoan.
This water was both economic benefit in irrigation for agriculture as well as recreational value for boating, fishing, seasonal hunting, and bird watching in the rookery of its northern part.
It had a caravan park as well as supporting businesses in nearby Benalla and Wangaratta.
It was sacrificed for political reasons and public megadollars were wasted in reducing it to its present state of paradise for flocculent doctrine.
The few recent times I've visited (in prime times), where were the hordes of eco- tourists? Eco-fantasy indeed.
Hans Witteveen, Seymour
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