Duck Protesters Fined After GMA Use Drone Surveillance To Detect Illegal Activity

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It would be of little surprise to duck hunters that the weekends GMA drone sting to detect illegal activity at Lake Connewarre only found illegal protesters.

“While no hunting offences were detected, the drone observed a number of people breaching public safety laws, including entering specified hunting areas during prohibited times and hindering/harassing hunters related offences.”

A media release from the Game Management Authority of Victoria stated: 

The Game Management Authority (GMA) has used a surveillance drone to assist Authorised Officers to detect illegal activity at Lake Connewarre.

GMA Director of Compliance and Intelligence Paul Stevens said Authorised Officers used the heat sensing drone at Lake Connewarre over the long weekend to survey the wetland and guide them towards any potential illegal hunting activity or breaches of the public safety laws.

“While no hunting offences were detected, the drone observed a number of people breaching public safety laws, including entering specified hunting areas during prohibited times and hindering/harassing hunters related offences.”

“Two people were issued with infringement notices and one has received a banning notice.”

Mr Stevens said public safety laws are in place to protect the broader community, hunters, Authorised Officers and others on the wetlands.

During the 2021 duck hunting season, three hunters received infringement notices for hunting with an expired Game Licence and one hunter received an infringement for hunting without a valid Game Licence.

In addition, a total of four people received infringements for being in a State Game Reserve without a valid Game Licence and three people received a banning notice for hindering/harassing hunters related offences. Some other matters are currently under investigation.

Authorised Officers were active across the state and spoke to more than 650 hunters at different wetlands. All hunters present at wetlands patrolled by officers complied with the starting times and bag limits.

The 2021 Victorian duck hunting season closed 30 minutes after sunset on the Monday, 14 June.

The GMA would like to thank everyone who acted responsibly and lawfully during the 2021 duck hunting season.

The GMA social media page post sparked debate, and many felt this was a token media release to try and win back hunter support after many felt they have been failed by the GMA.

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