31 March 2020


Tim Quilty clarifies government's coronavirus restrictions on hunting and fishing

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has reassured hunters and fishers that they can still practise their activities under the coronavirus clampdown.

While the Victorian Government is sending the message ‘stay at home’, many people have been questioning whether they are allowed to carry out regular or leisure activities.

Mr Quilty has reassured hunters and fishers that they are allowed to continue enjoying their activities, but encouraged care in doing so.

“To be clear – fishing and hunting are not actually banned by the COVID 19 restrictions, despite what the police may think,” Mr Quilty said.

“If you are doing it to provide for food and obtain exercise, and obeying the other social distancing rules, then you are within the law, and the police have no business bothering you.

“The restrictions say you can leave your house to get food: you’ll be at much lower risk – to yourself, and to others – when you are fishing in a boat than you would be queueing up with 200 other people in the supermarket. And hunting on foot is an excellent form of exercise.

“I am not encouraging people to get into arguments with police – if you are told to move on then it is important to do so.

“But I expect the police to behave in accordance with the restrictions, not making it up as they go along.”

Mr Quilty said that governments should be treating us like adults and allowing us to make our own decisions.

“We are all capable of choosing appropriate behaviours in appropriate circumstances, and we certainly do not need a Big Brother government dictating our every move,” Mr Quilty said.

“I am sure many people have been viewing the coronavirus restrictions with disbelief, shocked at how harsh we are being treated and resentful that the Victorian and Federal Governments are treating us like naughty children.

“The message of keeping space between each other is simple, and yet we are being dictated to by leaders who think we are all back in school.”

Mr Quilty pointed out that there have been countless messages on social media from people confused by what they can and cannot do, and that if people were breaking restrictions, it was because government messaging has not been clear enough.

“The slapdash nature of government messaging has left enormous holes, so it’s not surprising that Victorians are likely to break restrictions,” Mr Quilty said.

“Where the Government is glossing over a topic, then of course people are going to be at risk of doing the wrong thing.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819