Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (10:44): I am delighted—well, I am disappointed that we are not talking about a duck bill, we are talking about a duck motion. I would not say that I am disappointed; I just wanted to be able to say ‘duck bill’. The motion does very much what the duck bill does, which is to call on the government to announce its duck shooting season by 1 January and to require rescuers, protesters or even residents to stay 100 metres away from where people are shooting.
I do not think it comes as any surprise in this chamber my position on duck hunting. I am entirely opposed to it. I would love to see an end to it. I joined my crossbench colleagues Mr Meddick and Dr Ratnam in 2019 to call for an end to duck hunting.
And this is not a new idea. Duck hunting has been banned in New South Wales. It has been banned in Queensland. It has been banned in WA. We are lagging behind New South Wales by 20 years.
A member interjected.
Ms PATTEN: Duck seasons. We are lagging behind New South Wales by 20 years and WA by 30 years. Now, yes, Mr Bourman is correct. Shooting ducks still occurs in those states, but we do not call a season for it. It is a much more restricted thing, and it is not popular. 85 per cent of Victorians would like to see an end to duck hunting. I can tell you my email inbox is not being filled with supporters of duck hunting. It is being filled with quite the opposite.
We know that this is a ban on shooting native animal birds, and studies have consistently shown us that our Australian birds are declining, whether that is climate change, whether it is humans moving into those habitats, whether it is bushfires or whether it is for a number of reasons. And every season hundreds of protected ducks species are found shot and abandoned. We heard this in a members statement from Mr Meddick just earlier today. Based on past seasons each year I am told that rescuers will recover around 300 illegally shot protected species and 100 of Victoria’s rarest waterbirds, the freckled duck. Now, this is abhorrent. How on earth could we as a community, as a society, be announcing that there should be a season on ducks? As I say, no-one—well, very few people—in our community want to do this. Inevitably we are seeing birds like swans being shot, and that is despite the laws preventing this. These stories, we hear them every year, and certainly since Mr Meddick has been in this chamber we hear them very regularly.
But I receive emails, and I am sure all of you receive email after email, telling the stories. I was also contacted by someone who is literally having bullets rain on their home, because their home is actually within 30 metres of a prescribed killing area. With Mr Bourman’s motion suggesting that we should limit rescuers and limit people who oppose duck killing to 100 metres you are asking people to move out of their homes in some cases. I have spoken to people who are opposed to duck killing whose homes, as I say, are within 30 metres of some of the prescribed areas. So it is not time to shore up duck killing dates. It is not time to remove protesters from the area. It is time to end duck hunting and the duck hunting season.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Motion by Mr Bourman 23/3/22