A new program to support safe, responsible and sustainable hunting across Victoria is underway, thanks to a Traditional Owners project undertaken north of Bendigo.
The next phase of the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan (SHAP) 2021-2024 was announced yesterday, backed by $5.3 million funding from the Labor Government.
The four-year plan will support the state's 60,000 licenced game hunters, improve animal welfare and help facilitate important research.
The government is providing $1 million to increase the role of Traditional Owners in managing the land where hunting takes place.
This funding will be provided to implement the Traditional Owner Game Management Strategy, which was a key achievement of the most recent Sustainable Hunting Action Plan.
Members of the Traditional Owner community led the development of the strategy, which was launched earlier this year at the Tang Tang Swamp, north of Bendigo.
A pilot project showcasing a Dja Dja Wurrung led restoration of Country, including replanting native vegetation along with restoring cultural water and fire regimes.
New grants for community initiatives will be available under the strategy to fund a range of activities such as regional game food events, habitat restoration and conservation projects, hunter education and research.
Hunting has proven a popular activity in Victoria with game licence holders adding an estimated $356 million to the Victorian economy in 2019.
"(The strategy) offers opportunities for Aboriginal communities to manage Country while sharing their traditional values and practices," Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said.
Traditional Owner Game Management Strategy Project Control Group chair Rodney Carter said it was a great outcome.
"It is great to see the government supporting opportunities for Traditional Owners to manage Country and pass on knowledge and wisdom to future generations so they can maintain strong connections to the land," he said.
Game Management Authority chair Brian Hine said the Plan funds important research to enable GMA to achieve its vision.
"That vision is game hunting meets community expectations as a sustainable, well-regulated activity based on science and conducted in a responsible manner," he said.
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