Protected duck killed at Lake Toolondo; man to face Horsham Magistrate's Court

Freckled ducks. Picture: Wild Watch Australia
Freckled ducks. Picture: Wild Watch Australia

A MAN will face Horsham Magistrates’ Court next month after he allegedly shot a protected duck at Lake Toolondo in March.

He will face charges of destroying threatened wildlife after a freckled duck was killed at the water reserve during duck hunting season.

Veteran duck shooting activist Laurie Levy said he applauded the actions of the Department of Primary Industry to report the incident.

But an investigation into the shooting of 36 freckled ducks at Lake Lonsdale has been abandoned after there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

A DEPI spokeswoman encouraged anyone with information about the incident, which happened on the opening weekend of duck season to contact them.

“There was insufficient evidence available to take the matter further,” she said.

“Unless we see them do it and gather enough evidence we’re unable to proceed.

“We know that the wrong thing happened there and it’s very disappointing to not be able to take it further.”

“It highlights that DEPI just don’t have enough compliance officers to put out into the field.”

Duck shooting activist Laurie Levy

Mr Levy said it was extremely disappointing that the department would not proceed with the investigation.

“On the opening morning we sent a team down to Lake Lonsdale because of the illegal shooting of freckled ducks in 2013 down there and the same thing happened again,” he said.

“It highlights that DEPI just don’t have enough compliance officers to put out into the field.”

Mr Levy confirmed the Coalition Against Duck Shooting had contacted the office of mining magnate and Federal Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer.

He said discussions with the Palmer United Party would begin ahead of this year’s State Election to look at a policy where duck shooting is banned and water reserves are used for tourism.

“We hope to meet with Clive Palmer or a representative from his party next week,” Mr Levy said.

“We believe that Victoria’s major political parties – Labor, Liberal and the Nationals – just don’t have the vision to even imagine Victoria with a wetlands tourism industry and I think Clive Palmer would have that vision.

“That’s why we’ve approached him.”

Mr Levy said duck season had been quiet on the whole, with his organisation observing lower numbers of hunters on wetlands.