PARKS Victoria has installed new signs and information totems in State Game Reserves across the Grampians and Wimmera as part of an action plan to improve hunting opportunities.
The Sustainable Hunting Action Plan 2016-2020 aims to promote responsible hunting, improve opportunities for hunters and ensure sustainable hunting.
These signs will help people to identify State Game Reserves, increase awareness of where hunting is permitted, increase knowledge of hunting conditions and opportunities, and help hunters comply with relevant regulations.
The signs are part of a state-wide initiative, with a total of 360 signs and information totems installed at 130 game reserves that permit hunting across Victoria.
They also feature the RESPECT logo, which is a reminder to hunt responsibly.
Parks Victoria Program Coordinator Sustainable Hunting Action Plan Mark Pinney said the initiative ensured the best use of public land.
“This is a significant milestone for Parks Victoria in supporting sustainable hunting and enabling all Victorians to make the best use of public land,” he said.
“Parks Victoria works together with many groups to ensure Victoria’s natural environment is healthy and accessible for a range of recreational activities.”
To develop the signage, Parks Victoria worked closely with a number of organisations including the Australian Deer Association, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Field and Game Australia, Game Management Authority and Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria).
However, anti-hunting proponents have condemned the move.
“Logically, the only way to ensure sustainable hunting, is to firstly know where the hunting occurs and secondly to monitor it,” Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting spokeswoman Kerrie Allen said.
“Sadly, both of these measures are grossly lacking in Victoria, despite millions in taxpayer subsidies.
“Erecting signs at 130 reserves is great, but there are thousands of public waterways where duck shooting – about to commence March 16 – occurs, un-monitored.
“No government department has been able to advise the public of locations of the creeks, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands and waterways where duck shooting takes place across Victoria, often in close proximity to residents.”
“Under the circumstances and at a time when climate change is wreaking unprecedented havoc on our eco-systems and struggling native waterbirds – many unique to our country – it is irresponsible to allow native waterbird shooting to continue, let alone suggest it is sustainable.”
The Sustainable Hunting Action Plan, released in 2016 with an investment of $5.3 million by the Victorian Government, aimed to address the issues raised in the Game Management Authority’s State Game Reserve Audit and deliver practical actions to benefit the environment, the economy, community and hunters.
Some of those issues included ambiguous and inconsistent signage across State Game Reserves, which failed to clearly state which activities were permitted.
Additionally, the audit found that 42 per cent of reserves did not have any signage at all.
Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) Hunting Development Manager David Laird said the new signs clearly laid out what was and was not acceptable at the sites.
“This signage is important to our members because it makes it clear, to both hunters and non-hunters, that hunting is a legal activity in a particular area,” he said.
“Clear signage removes any ambiguity and also demonstrates progress under the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan, which we fully support.”
The signs are located at:
- Brady Swamp State Game Reserve
- Bryan Swamp State Game Reserve
- Bunnugal State Game Reserve
- Connangorach Swamp State Game Reserve
- Cookes Reserve State Game Reserve
- Darragan Swamp State Game Reserve
- Donald (Dollin) Swamp State Game Reserve
- Lake Buninjon State Game Reserve
- Mutton Swamp State Game Reserve
- Red Gum Swamp, Jallumba State Game Reserve
- Saw Pit Swamp State Game Reserve
- Victoria Lagoon State Game Reserve
- Wal Wal Swamp State Game Reserve
- White Swamp State Game Reserve
For information on hunting in Parks Victoria locations, visit parkweb.vic.gov.au.
While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from the Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all the news from Ararat and districts, sign up here.