Wetlands should be protected
In response to Jack Wegman of the Sporting Shooters Association's Letter to the Editor of 5 September 2018.
Duck hunting is not an activity that a majority would align with “nature- based tourism” as asserted by Mr Wegman.
The practice of shooting ducks inhibits access to wetlands by the public for three months each year to allow four per cent of the population exclusive use for an activity that espouses killing what has been described as “struggling native birds” in a “sport” that has also been described as “inhumane”.
Duck hunting is now banned in many states of Australia for that reason
Winton Wetlands has over 36,000 visitors annually (compared to 26,000 duck shooters for the whole state) and is an example of how ecological and cultural regeneration can protect threatened species, affect people’s lives positively and drive economic development through tourism in partnership with indigenous communities.
This will have long-term benefits for nature and the area as nature tourism is enabled to grow unimpeded by what seems in my opinion an urgency to destroy native birds with little or no regard for the rest of the population’s wishes or benefits or the very creatures that are shot, often maimed and left to die slow and painful deaths.
Victoria’s small rural towns face significant unemployment and struggle financially (SGS Economics 2018).
We have many beautiful wetlands within our reach that could support a shift to genuine nature tourism activities that would reap benefits for all towns within a “Cooee” of the wetlands.
The shift would enable all to enjoy the wetlands 365 days each year.
We should be adopting a vision for the region we live in that supports nature and eco-tourism rather than on a small minority that in fact inhibits nature tourism and its benefits from developing.
We should carefully consider what is happening in our wetlands to our native birds and wildlife and look to the future for nature and eco-tourism.
It will deliver peace of mind for increasing numbers of people who live near and enjoy our wetlands, they will be relieved of a quasi “war-zone”.
It has the capacity to offer economic growth and employment to regional towns, something that is desperately needed.
It will conserve and protect native wildlife for future generations and deliver many poor native waterbirds from cruel and inhumane treatment as we strive to live harmoniously in our rural environment.
Marilyn Nuske, Animal Justice Party Candidate Bendigo West
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