Duck hunting figures don't all add up

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan is wrong when he states that "the costs to manage duck hunting are almost entirely offset by season licence fees" ('Duck hunting does not cost the taxpayer', December 21, 2012).

The Department of Primary Industries, in its 2012 Regulatory Impact Statement on the new regulations for game hunting, states that the total "quantifiable" costs for hunting are $30.1 million over a 10-year period, or around $3 million per annum.

It states: "Over a 10-year period, the proposed fees will raise around $15.9 million". The DPI also states that enforcement and compliance costs that were identified by DPI, Parks Victoria and Victoria Police have not been included as costs attributed to the proposed Regulations.

I t states that only "25 per cent of the total compliance costs were attributed to activities covered by the proposed Regulations". So taxpayers pay the vast majority of costs in Victoria.

Mr Ryan also states "game hunting in Victoria has been estimated to generate more than $96 million annually".

However, the DPI states (in the RIS) that this figure is based on a 2006-2007 Victorian Hunter Mail Survey. It provides no details and also notes (on page 32) that self-reporting by hunters is biased and tends to be exaggerated and unreliable.

The Baillieu government should be protecting country Victorians from the threat of bushfires as a first priority. The CFA desperately needs more funding, but its budget has been cut by $65 million.

The DPI has closed offices and sacked staff across the state, yet millions of dollars are spent so a small number of duck shooters can kill defenceless native waterbirds for so-called sport.

BEN ORMOND

Doncaster

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