Surf Coast requests further duck hunting closures

The duck hunting season has been hit again, with Surf Coast Shire Council asking for closures of Lake Gherang and Brown Swamp to shooting. 

Councillor Kate Gazzard moved the successful motion during the Tuesday, April 23, council meeting with eight councillor votes for the proposed closures and one against. 

Council will seek the closures of Lake Gherang and Brown Swamp to duck hunting following the state government’s closure of Lake Modewarre for this duck shooting season on April 13.  

“We want our native wildlife to not only survive but to flourish and thrive as they are part of our community as well and they get a voice,” Cr Gazzard said. 

“Even if there is true policing of which ducks are legally allowed to be slaughtered, the effects of hunting will drive away our protected species. 

“It was alarming to me how close the shooting occurred to resident’s homes including two families with very young children… All children should feel safe in their homes.” 

Council will write to relevant authorities such as the Minister for Environment and the Game Management Authority, asking to close sections within 250 metres of residential properties to duck shooting. 

Cr Paul Barker said duck hunting had happened in the Modewarre area during winter for “well over 100 years” and was concerned the motion would “clear the path” to prohibit other outdoor activities. 

“I am empathetic to their concerns of proximity to fired ammunition, but I understand that much of this has been mitigated through exclusion zones,” he said. 

“Like purchasing near airports or railway lines, moving into areas that have noise typically results in lower housing costs. I trust that people moving into an area conduct their due diligence.  

“The Victorian Inquiry into duck hunting had around half of respondents supportive of duck hunting while a large portion of the objectors used a pro-forma document as their contribution.” 

The state government recently confirmed its support for recreational duck hunting following Parliament’s Inquiry into Victoria’s recreational native bird hunting arrangements in 2023.