Member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young is calling on the State Government to include in the upcoming budget promised funding for shotgun education classes.
“I sought and received assurances from the Andrews Government 18 months ago that funding would be set aside to subsidise enrolments to the Shotgunning Education Program, developed by the Game Management Authority, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) and Field and Game Australia,” Mr Young said.
A member of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party, Mr Young said funding for education is essential to the Government’s promotion of responsible hunting, as outlined in Sustainable Hunting Action Plan released last year, by ‘improving training and education for new hunters’.
“When the Hunting Action Plan was released last year, the Government reported that the number of registered hunters had increased substantially over the past five years,” Mr Young said. “Given the excellent conditions to the opening of the 2017 duck hunting season at the weekend, there were thousands of hunters on the wetlands. Some were newcomers, including the sons and daughters of more experienced hunters passing on the family tradition.
“I was fortunate that my father was and continues to be my mentor in hunting and shotgun use. As such, I recognise the importance of newcomers of any age learning from hunters with the knowledge and experience only they can pass on to ensure safe and ethical hunting.
“Educational opportunities should be accessible and affordable to all hunters, which is why I am calling on the Andrews Government to fulfil its promised funding of shotgun education classes.
“I have long advocated for such classes to supplement the Waterfowl Identification Test, required for duck hunters to obtain a game licence. As such, I welcome similar support by RSPCA Victoria, which announced last week it would start to advocate for the introduction of shotgun skill testing for duck hunters to improve safety and reduce wounding rates.
“By making shotgun education classes affordable, the Victorian Government will be living up to its objective to ‘make sure hunters have access to accurate information that improves their education and training’.”