Question Without Notice: Duck Shooting

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to the Premier. In the opening weekend of duck shooting season numerous threatened species, protected ducks and other waterbirds were killed, many of which were displayed outside your office. Premier, will you make this year's duck season the last ever in Victoria?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — Thanks very much, the member for Prahran. I thought he was not yet concluded his — —

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr ANDREWS — The member for Prahran has asked a serious question, and I would have thought the member for Malvern would at least allow him to listen to the answer if he is not interested in it.

I thank the member for Prahran for his question, and I would simply say to him that I know there are very strong views on this issue. There are some people for whom duck shooting is something that they involve themselves in; it is a big part of their life. Others are not so much interested in it; it is not something that they do. But we were very, very clear — I was very clear on behalf of our alternative government, and since the election of the government I have been very clear that we have no intention to change the longstanding practice in relation to a duck season based on the best advice and based on clearly understood rules.

As I said, I know that there are strong views on this, but I have been very clear that we have no intention to change those arrangements, and we will not be changing those arrangements, whether it be duck shooting or recreational shooting — hunting — in a broader context — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order!

Mr ANDREWS — Well, in a broader context. It seems of no interest to those opposite that in a broader context supports many regional communities very strongly with economic activity and development and employment. That is not to diminish the views that others have on this sport, this legitimate recreational activity.

However, if the member for Prahran wants to draw to my attention any specific examples where he does not think the rules have been followed, I am happy to pass those on to the relevant minister and agency, and they can be followed up. But my views on this have been very clear, and they will remain clear: we have no intention of changing well-established practices that allow for duck shooting in our community.

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — Premier, given that there were a number of threatened species killed over last weekend means the rules are not being followed, and the abundance of waterbirds is the lowest on record — that is coming from the Game Management Authority itself. I am happy to furnish members with that particular document. What is the government going to do now to prevent the further carnage that we saw over the weekend? What is the government going to do to prevent that occurring for the rest of the season?

Mr ANDREWS (Premier) — I thank the member for Prahran for his supplementary question. I would just draw him back to the fact of the matter, and that is that there is a proper process that makes judgements about conditions, seasonal conditions and makes recommendations to the government about the type of season, bag limits — those sorts of issues. That is an appropriate set of arrangements.

If there are specific examples the member for Prahran wants to draw to my attention, and through me to the relevant minister where he does not think the rules have been followed, does not think the determinations have been given effect to properly on the ground, as it were, then he can provide that information to me, and I am more than happy to pass it on to the relevant minister.

I can again say — which was essentially my answer to the first question — I know people feel strongly about this, but as strongly as they feel, I am absolutely clear about what our government's intentions are, and there will not be any changes to these arrangements.