Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh
Creation Of Game Victoria Signals New Era
Victor P Taffa
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh has signalled a new era for game management in Victoria by today announcing the creation of Game Victoria within the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
Mr. Walsh said the creation of Game Victoria delivered on the Coalition Government’s election commitment to give Victoria’s game hunting community a stronger voice and better enable the promotion and growth of the game sector.
“Victoria has world-class game hunting opportunities and is the envy of game hunters across Australia.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government encourages people to make the most of the opportunities to hunt and fish and enjoy recreational activities that form part of our heritage.”
“More than 40,000 Victorians are licensed to hunt game, an increase of 30 % since 1996. That number is likely to keep growing as game populations and their habitats recover from years of drought.”
Under the changes, the responsibility for delivering game management services has been moved from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).
Game Victoria will operate in a similar way to the successful Fisheries Victoria model in supporting the development of recreational fishing.
Mr. Walsh said Game Victoria would focus on working with the peak game groups to:
• Promote game hunting as a popular recreational activity, an important traditional pastime and generator of jobs,
• Develop improved hunting opportunities,
• Develop new opportunities for game guides and similar businesses,
• Support conservation projects, including habitat rehabilitation and invest in game species research,
• Improve education and advisory programs for hunters,
• Develop a longer term strategy for sustainable game management and improved compliance.
Mr. Walsh said the Victorian Coalition Government recognised the enormous support game hunting provides to local economies in regional Victoria.
“The activity generates more than $70 Million each year and supports jobs in hospitality, the supply of vehicles, boats, firearms and ammunition, plus camping and hunting equipment.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The hunting community also works tirelessly to restore and improve habitats and control pest animals across the state.”
Other changes announced today include the creation of a new standing council on hunting and game to provide advice to the Minister, particularly on the development of a Victorian Game Hunting and Management Strategy.
Game Victoria will call for nominations for the council in February next year.