Premier denies duck shooting links killed Vic ban

Callum Godde |

The Victorian government has disregarded its own inquiry’s recommendation to ban duck hunting.
The Victorian government has disregarded its own inquiry’s recommendation to ban duck hunting.

Premier Jacinta Allan has denied personal and union links influenced a decision to continue allowing duck hunting in Victoria.

The Victorian government on Monday disregarded its own inquiry’s recommendation for recreational duck hunting to be banned across all Victorian public and private land from 2024.

Ms Allan’s husband has previously been pictured at a Field & Game event and she represents Bendigo East, an electorate with one of the highest number of registered licensed shooters in the state.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan
Jacinta Allan has never been ducking hunting but believes it’s a legitimate recreational activity. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

“My husband barracks for the Hawthorn Football Club? I don’t,” the premier told reporters on Tuesday.

“I don’t follow my husband’s view on all things and I’m sure if he was here, he would confirm that.”

She said she had never been ducking hunting but her long-held view is that the practice is a legitimate recreational activity.

In June, Electrical Trades Union state secretary Troy Gray told the Labor-led parliamentary inquiry any duck hunting ban would trigger a mass walk-off on projects across the state.

The ETU, Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, Mining and Energy Union, Australian Workers Union and Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union said the decision was backed by facts and science.

“Working Victorians must be able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors,” the unions said in a joint statement.

“It is vital to their mental and physical health, the state economy and, for those who undertake it, a critical part of their identity.”

Ms Allan, whose father was an electrician and ETU member, insisted she wasn’t beholden to the unions.

“All views that were put the inquiry were considered as part of the deliberations on this matter,” she said.

Children Minister Lizzie Blandthorn and Jobs Minister Natalie Hutchins both expressed their strong opposition to duck hunting when arriving for Monday’s cabinet meeting.

Ms Allan confirmed debate was robust, like all cabinet discussions.

“This was a consensus decision that was taken through the normal cabinet process,” she said when asked about a suggestion of a “captain’s call”.

“That’s why the minister made that announcement.”

Outdoor Recreation Minister Steve Dimopoulos says the government will implement seven of the inquiry’s eight recommendations to overhaul hunting but a total ban isn’t needed to make the practice sustainable and safe.

Tony Ortega is seen back at his car after hunting ducks
Duck hunting is banned in WA, NSW and Queensland but is still legal in Victoria, SA and Tasmania. (Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS)

From 2025, there will be stricter penalties, compliance checks and hunters will have to do mandatory training.

RSPCA Victoria chief executive Liz Walker said she could only assume the 2024 season would be “unsafe, unsustainable and irresponsible” without the measures being in place until next year.

“At the very least the duck hunting season should be cancelled while the new training, compliance and enforcement program is implemented,” Dr Walker said.

Duck hunting has long been banned in Western Australia, NSW and Queensland but is still legal in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

The season will run from April 10 to June 5 with a bag limit of six per day.