Adjournment- Duck hunting season
Mr O'Sullivan — My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Agriculture, and the action I am seeking from the minister is that she withdraw the new regulations in relation to the 2018 duck season and consult properly with Field & Game Australia (FGA) and other stakeholders to make sure that these regulations are workable. What we have seen from the Minister for Agriculture is the introduction of a whole range of new regulations. Some of these regulations might be okay, but there are quite a few of them which are going to make things very difficult. Also a few of them are not in line with what the stakeholders were led to believe from previous conversations. For instance, one of the new regulations is a 9.00 a.m. start on the opening weekend. Field & Game believed this would be evaluated after one year, but they are now led to believe that it is a two-year trial. That is certainly news to them, and they are not happy about it. They see these new regulations as a severe overreach, and they think they are going to make things very difficult.
Another one of the regulations which is particularly creating problems is regulation 51A in relation to a downed game bird. The regulation says it must be recovered straightaway, which I find a bit peculiar because hunters, when they do shoot a bird, have every intention of picking up and are very adept at actually understanding where it is and picking it up. Another regulation is that the hunter is not allowed to shoot multiple birds at the same time. They have got two shots in the over and under; they are not allowed to shoot two shots out of that at two successive birds. We have a bag limit for a reason. If we are going to allow hunters to shoot birds and we have a bag limit, I do not think it really matters whether they are firing one shot or two shots at a time to undertake that process.
There are a whole range of other things that need to be re-evaluated. Field & Game Australia said in a statement:
We are dismayed that the real-world experience of FGA and its members was not canvassed in the drafting and we immediately sought modification so the regulations are practical, realistic and do not leave members open to criminal prosecutions.
There are a whole range of problems with these regulations that need to be addressed. I am asking the Minister for Agriculture to withdraw those regulations for the upcoming season, do the proper consultation with the industry and make sure any regulations are actually workable for hunters and everyone involved.