Hunters to face more regulation

VICTORIA’S more than 43,000 licenced game hunters will soon have a newly established authority regulating their sport.

The government has legislation to establish an authority to regulate game hunting and provide a collaborative approach to game management.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said establishing the Game Management Authority met an election commitment in 2010.

Mr Walsh said the game hunting industry generates around $100 million of economic activity annually.

“Hunting, and in particular recreational game hunting, is an important part of Victoria’s cultural heritage,” he said.

The authority will be responsible for the administration, licencing, compliance and enforcement functions at present done by Game Victoria.

Mr Walsh said the authority’s role would centre on encouraging sustainability and responsibly in game hunting.

The government provided an additional $8.2 million over four years in 2013-14 budget to establish and operate the new authority.

“This means that a total of $17.6 million will be spent on game management in Victoria over the next four years,” Mr Walsh said.

The authority begins operating on July 1 next year and will have a key role in implementing the recently announced hunting and game management action plan.

The authority will have the capacity to make recommendations to ministers about game hunting and game management.

Advice from the authority on pests will assist the government in its approach to integrated pest animal management.

The authority will work with public land managers to improvement the management of game reserves and other public land where hunting is allowed.

It will have a close relationship with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and the police.

“The GMA will also have a skills-based board ensuring that it will be accountable, transparent and efficient in providing hunters, stakeholders and the community with confidence in the integrity of game management,” Mr Walsh said.

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