MPs check out east coast hunting systems

25 Sep, 2014 02:00 AM

A CONTINGENT of local MPs will witness first-hand recreational hunting systems operating on public lands in the Eastern States, as they move closer to deciding if a similar system would work in WA.

The Legislative Council committee, running the inquiry into the potential benefits of a system mirroring those already in operation in New South Wales and Victoria, is preparing to report on its findings in December.

In late 2003, Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Rick Mazza raised the idea of using a regulated hunting system involving licensed recreational shooters as a cost-effective tool for controlling feral animals on WA's vast public lands.

Figures provided by Mr Mazza indicated that it can cost the WA government up to $605 per animal for existing eradication services which are carried out by trained volunteers in other States.

He said economic, cultural and social benefits may be associated with having recreational hunters tasked with animal control on public lands.

A Victorian government report in June indicated hunting is worth $439 million to the State economy, which included the creation of local jobs and income as hunters purchase equipment, fuel, food and other supplies.

As a result of the study, the government has pledged $17.6m for game management for the next four years to drive further opportunities for hunting across Victoria.

Standing committee on public administration chair Liz Behjat, who is overseeing the WA inquiry, said the MPs' visit to see the recreational hunting systems in operation would be followed by deliberation and a final report of findings.

As a part of the committee process, more than 600 written submissions were received on the topic and public hearings featured evidence from larger stakeholder groups including WA Police, the Department of Agriculture and Food and Tourism WA.



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