Ducks: tourism v shooting
In response to Peter McKenzie’s letter to the editor “Duck hunting is tourism and can co-exist with others”, Bendigo Advertiser, January 22) let’s look at the facts. Mr. McKenzie cites “estimating the economic impact of hunting in Victoria” which claimed only $43 million GSP (not $400 million) was derived from duck shooting across the state, 38 per cent of expenditure going to Melbourne metro while many rural areas received little if any.
The estimate, derived from a survey of shooters – answers unverified - did not account for lost tourism business due to duck shooting. This is significant. In fact only 16 per cent of holiday makers would not be put off by duck shooting (The Australia Institute – Out for a Duck, 2012).
To most it would seem logical that groups of unmonitored shooters in army gear camped near families, the sound of gunfire shattering the peace and dead and maimed birds falling from the sky, is not appealing to tourists. And sadly, as locals know, this non-appeal lingers long past the last fallen bird, as plastic ammo cartridges, rubbish, broken bottles, toilet paper, human effluent and bird body parts often litter our shores for months to follow.
Many Victorian rural communities (including around “duck shooting” towns), are doing it tough financially- worse than in other states (SGS Economics 2018, Australian Taxation Office; poorest postcodes).
Meanwhile, tourism brings more to the Australian economy than agriculture, forestry and fishing (Tourism Satellite Account 16/17). Nature-based tourism, it’s fastest growing component, brings over $41 billion elsewhere across Australia with record participation in bushwalking (up 14 per cent), visits to nature parks and aboriginal culture sites (Tourism Research Australia 2018).
Kakadu – just a swamp – sees 200,000 visitors a year. The fairly common penguin allows Phillip Island Nature Parks’ contribution of $500 million a year to Victoria; $120 million and 800 jobs just to the local Bass Coast area. Lake Tyrrell – discovered by the nature-loving Chinese – now sees up to 240 visitors a day and is so successful the government tipped over $2 million into developing it. The Great Ocean road brings over $1 billion.
Come on. Nature appreciation – not shooting it - is what brings much needed, lucrative, year-round tourism to rural areas. It’s time we followed the lead of other states, left duck shooting in the past and made way for lucrative nature based tourism to flourish in rural Victoria.
Kerrie Allen, spokesperson RVODS
Women to the fore
A year ago, I wrote to express how disappointed I was that not a single woman was included in this paper’s front page story about our region’s Australia Day Honours.
This morning, I was delighted to see what a difference a year can make. Today’s paper features six fantastic awardees, three women and three men, each of whom has made such a wonderful contribution to our community.
Read more: Central Victoria Australia Day honours
With debate about the importance of recognising more women in our national awards becoming more widespread throughout the country, it’s great to know that our region has responded so well to the challenge of recognising the contributions of both our women and our men this year.
Let’s continue what we’ve started.
Ann Murray, Kennington
Letters must carry the name, full address and telephone number of the author. The writer’s name and suburb/town will be published. We reserve the right to edit letters. Letters which are deemed inappropriate will not be published.Send letters to Bendigo Advertiser, PO Box 61, Bendigo 3552 or at bendigoadvertiser.com.au
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