Noise a concern as duck season continues

By Jena Carr

Despite Surf Coast Shire’s decision to seek closures in the Modewarre area, there are still concerns regarding duck hunting’s proximity to residential properties.

Council decided during its April meeting to request closures of Lake Gherang and Brown Swamp to duck hunting, with the Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting identifying that there were key issues of shooting near homes and public areas.

A spokesperson said duck shooting was a “heartbreaking” and “horrible” thing for people to have to live near.

“One in four people live regionally and a lot of people now live near these waterways where shooting is still permitted,” they said.

“The noise issue is a big one as we know that gunfire is a cause of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), stress and anxiety, and it’s just horrendous that we have people living so close to it.

“It has some real impacts, and that’s just from the noise. Then you get the visual aspects as well… with injured or dead birds that are left behind, and the rubbish of shot gun shells.”

The spokesperson said they were glad that Surf Coast Shire Council took a stance against the “outdated barbaric activity” but wanted to see it banned across the state.

“It was really pleasing to see Surf Coast Shire speak out, they’re not the only council, there has been other councils who have taken a similar stance,” they said.

“We hope to see more councils jump on board with it because noise pollution is in their net. It’s what they’re tasked with being concerned about.

“When you’ve got ratepayers that are paying to live in these areas, they are by law entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their properties, so it’s great that councils are standing up for that.”

Close to 34 wetlands, including Lake Connewarre and Lake Modewarre, have been closed to hunters during the 2024 duck shooting season to protect threatened bird species and their habitats.

Surf Coast Shire councillor Paul Barker, who was against further lake closures in Modewarre, was contacted for comment.