North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - FRONT PAGE -

DANIEL Young (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) has taken aim at the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Jaala Pul­ford, over her fail­ure to clearly ex­plain the new duck hunt­ing reg­u­la­tions.

Mr Young re­cently asked Ms Pul­ford to clar­ify the new hunt­ing reg­u­la­tions dur­ing ques­tion time at Par­lia­ment.

“In an at­tempt to clar­ify guide­lines for new reg­u­la­tions re­lat­ing to the re­trieval of ducks shot by hunters, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Jaala Pul­ford, failed to ex­plain the very reg­u­la­tions she was talk­ing about - and ad­mit­ted the ad­vice from the Game Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (GMA) used to ex­plain the reg­u­la­tions is un­clear,” Mr Young said.

“Fur­ther­more, it be­came ap­par­ent the min­is­ter is sim­ply hop­ing that hunt­ing en­force­ment of­fi­cers will ex­er­cise the same judge­ment she failed to ex­er­cise in mak­ing the reg­u­la­tions.”

A mem­ber of the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers Party - and an avid duck hunter - Mr Young had sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion to the guide­lines re­cently re­leased on the GMA web­site about the re­trieval of ‘downed’ ducks.

He said the word­ing in the guide­lines makes it un­clear at what point a hunter must re­trieve a duck, and ap­pears to be a gross over­reach by the gov­ern­ment.

Mr Young had asked whether the new reg­u­la­tions pro­hib­ited the com­mon prac­tice of shoot­ing a pair of birds, for those with dou­ble­bar­rel shot­guns, be­fore re­trieval.

He also asked how en­force­ment of­fi­cers would man­age ef­forts by protesters to steal ducks downed by hunters, be­fore they could get to the lo­ca­tion where the duck hit the wa­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Young, Ms Pul­ford con­tin­ued to “waf­fle” about the reg­u­la­tions when she failed to an­swer an­other mem­ber of par­lia­ment’s ques­tions as to how many en­force­ment of­fi­cers would be present dur­ing the sea­son and how they would in­ter­pret the guide­lines.

“Af­ter talk­ing in cir­cles, the min­is­ter ad­mit­ted the guide­lines could be im­proved on and did not rule out any fur­ther changes to the reg­u­la­tions,” Mr Young said.

“We are just weeks out from the open­ing of the duck sea­son and the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for im­pos­ing hunt­ing reg­u­la­tions is writ­ing pol­icy on the run.

“Much of the con­fu­sion and chaos she has cre­ated could have been avoided had the min­is­ter dis­cussed the changes with hunt­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions be­fore pub­lish­ing the guide­lines.”

READY: Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria, Daniel Young, has said the re­cent changes to rules about duck re­trieval were con­fus­ing and un­clear.

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