21 March 2013
(Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
Bill introduced on motion by Mr Alex Greenwich, read a first time and printed.
Mr ALEX GREENWICH: I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
In the last sitting week of 2012 Parliament passed the Shooters and Fishers Party Game and Feral Animal Control Further Amendment Bill 2012 to allow hunting of native birds, including ducks, on private land by persons with a native game bird management licence.
I opposed the bill because duck hunting is cruel, with many ducks being shot but escaping wounded and left to suffer a slow and painful death. That is the reason that duck hunting was banned in 1995. The Government supported the bill, claiming that duck hunting would only be authorised for the purpose of sustainable agricultural management. The legislation creates a new form of licence called a native game bird management licence, which can only be granted to someone with a game hunting licence, for sustainable agricultural management purposes. When speaking on the bill both Ministers said that the new form of licence would only be authorised for the purpose of sustainable agricultural management. The Government has repeatedly stated that its support for the bill is to help farmers manage duck populations where ducks cause damage to crops. Based on this justification, there is no logic to include the pink-eared duck on the list of native birds for which a native game bird management licence can be issued. The pink-eared duck is carnivorous and feeds on aquatic invertebrates. Its diet consists of 99.6 per cent animal-based food. It has a unique ability to filter mud and water in order to consume small organisms and its bill has the most specialised filter system of any wildfowl species. The pink-eared duck is not a grain-eating species and therefore does not cause damage to rice or other crops. Its main prey species are chironomid larvae and ostracods, which are known rice pests that many farmers use pesticides to control. I can provide scientific references to support these facts on the request of any member. There can be no sustainable agricultural argument in favour of shooting a pink-eared duck and the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment (Pink-eared Duck) Bill removes the pink-eared duck from the list of approved native game birds. If the Government is committed to its undertaking to issue licences only for the shooting of ducks that harm agricultural crops it will have the pink-eared duck removed from the list of native game birds included in part 1A of the Act. I commend the bill to the House. Debate adjourned on motion by Mr Daryl Maguire and set down as an order of the day for a future day.