21 Oct The future we’re fighting for
Fighting for animals can be hard. It’s hard to see their suffering. It’s hard to comprehend why you’re continually coming up against resistance. Sometimes you feel with every step you take forward, there is someone or something trying to push you back. How can it be so hard when your ask seems so simple? All you’re asking for is for others to stop hurting animals.
For decades, waterbirds have suffered tremendously at the hands of shooters, and throughout those decades the fight to stop their suffering has remained relentless. The duck shooting campaign is one of the longest and high-profile campaigns fought on behalf of animals in Victoria. The Coalition Against Duck Shooting, Animals Australia, Geelong Duck Rescue, Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting and many other animal protection groups, and countless caring Victorians have been relentlessly fighting for these birds since the 80’s. I thank them for their tireless work and for never giving up hope that one day the fight will end and these precious birds will be free to live their lives. Free from being shot from the sky.
As a Member of Parliament there are a number of paths you can take towards achieving legislative change, and since getting elected I have used every one of them to ensure I do everything in my power to end duck shooting in Victoria forever. In March I introduced a bill for a complete ban on duck shooting. In August I rose to move a motion and lead a parliamentary debate to stop the 2020 duck shooting season going ahead. I have used many of my speaking spots in the chamber to highlight the immense cruelty this ‘sport’ inflicts on these precious and often endangered waterbirds, and raised many of my constituents concerns of the negative impacts each season has on their local community and their family’s safety. In September I presented my bill to ban duck shooting for its second reading and are now giving my fellow MPs time to consider it and speak with their constituents.
This film is a glimpse into the future we’re fighting for. A future where waterbirds can live their lives free from the threat of shooters. Free to live and thrive in an environment their inextricably connected to. To live as unique sentient individuals, free to raise their families, free to go about their lives protected from violence and admired and respected from a distance.
My message to the Victorian Government is this: step back, sit down and take a moment to see these birds for who they really are. See their beauty and uniqueness, acknowledge their ability to feel joy, pain and sadness. Feel their grief and yearning for a mate who will never return. I ask you to ask yourself if their pain and suffering really worth it?
This government could be a hero for our native waterbirds, our regional towns and Victoria’s tourism industry by banning duck shooting. Let’s make it happen.