News & Articles
Deer Hunting Incident
The SSAA (Vic) has commented on the recent incident to a Deer Hunter in the Victorian Alps.
Please Click Here for a report by our Operations Manager Mr Mike Spray.
Temporary Address: 55 St Andrews Place
Shooters and Fishers MP’s condemn animal cruelty
East Melbourne Vic 3002
Two men from Wangaratta have faced court and been convicted of torturing a wounded deer. Footage was taken with a mobile phone by one of the men and was used as evidence at the Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court.
Jeff Bourman ML
Eastern Victoria Region
Daniel Young MLC
Northern Victoria Region
The incident took place at Meadow Creek on July 5th last year.
Shooters and Fishers MP’s Jeff Bourman and Daniel Young stand alongside with leading shooting groups, such as Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria), Australian Deer Association Inc. and Field and Game to condemn these actions.
Both Mr Bourman and Mr Young are avid hunters. They stand firm that any hunting including hunting of deer should be done in the most humane and ethical manner.
The men have shown remorse for their actions and have admitted that they should have immediately dispatched the deer.
Their actions reflect poorly on the hunting community as a whole and this lack of respect for an animal will not be tolerated or condoned by other hunters.
Quotes attributed to Jeff Bourman MLC Eastern Victoria Region
"Torturing an injured animal is not hunting and is serious animal cruelty and needs to be dealt with to the full extent of the law"
"Events like this do not represent the vast majority of hunters who do act in an ethical way."
Quotes attributed to Daniel Young MLC Northern Victoria Region
"I have spent the majority of my life hunting to the highest ethical standards, the Shooters and Fishers will continue to promote the highest ethical practices."
Quotes attributed to Mike Spray, Operations Manager, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria)
"The Association and its members are totally appalled by the actions of these men. We put a great deal of effort and resources into educating hunters about humane, safe and ethical hunting. The actions of these two individuals should not reflect badly on the thousands of responsible and respectful hunters in the State."
Quotes attributed to Barry Howlett, Executive Officer, Australian Deer Association Inc.
"Victorian hunters understand that a large part of our social license hinges on the care we take to treat our quarry humanely"
"The actions outlined in court are abhorrent and today the hunting community stands together to condemn them"
Quotes attributed to Rod Drew, Director Policy & External Relation, Field & Game Australia Inc.
"This is the most despicable act of cruelty I have ever heard of; this behavior is not tolerated by the hunting community, where respect for quarry is a cornerstone of the hunting ethic. Any licensed hunter convicted for this type of inhumane behavior should be banned from hunting for life."
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For media enquiries please contact Norman Dunn on 0429 315 885
The Greens and the RSPCA
It did not take long for the Greens in Western Australia to 'weigh in' to support the RSPCA and its anti hunting campaign. Please use the link below to read of the under handed tactics of these two groups as they continue to vilify West Australian hunters. Its a pity the RSPCA could find no photographs of Australian animals and had to resort to a photo-shopped hare from America and a Deer from Europe for their campaign.
Cattle Grazing in the Alpine National Park
The Shooters and Fishers Party representatives Jeff Bourman and Daniel Young have expressed their support for the Mountain Cattlemen and grazing within the Park to reduce the fuel for bushfires and the heritage of families who have grazed the area for long periods of time prior to the ban. To more detail on their media release Click here.
An interesting article on the two members of the Shooters and Fishers Party was published in the Sunday Age on the 3rd of May. Members can follow this link to learn more.
On a similar note and of interest to our Deer Hunters, the State Government is proposing to create the North Eastern National Park, this will impact on deer stalkers and hound hunters alike and we direct our members to the following link for more info.
Media Release - RSPCA
The RSPCA are using there influence to discredit law abiding hunters during the Western Australian election campaign in that state. They have taken out full page advertisements calling hunting 'Barbaric'. As we all know this is becoming common place with the RSPCA, who attack hunters at any opportunity. We would ask why any hunter would donate to this organisation willingly. For a response by the SSAA (Vic) Operations Manager, Mr Mike Spray Click here.
Beyond the Divide
The popular TV series on hunting is returning for Series 3, this program is on Channel 44, on Thursday nights at 9.00pm, a synopsis of Episode one is below but members can check the programming schedule for the remaining episodes by Clicking here.
Episode 1 Synopsis
Rob travels to South Australia to meet up with local hunter Morgan, to hunt Fallow Deer. It is late March and the peak of the rut, in which the fallow bucks voice with their characteristic deep grunting. During this time, with skillful stalking, the bucks can sometimes be stalked at close ranges in thick scrub, which makes for very exciting hunting.
The SSAA (Victoria) has responded in support of the statement by Shooters and Fishers Party MP's Jeff Bourman and Daniel Young, in regard to the proposal to re-classify certain firearms, (see below). The proposal by the National Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group also questions the genuine reason aspect of licence holders and the duration of Category C licences. To read the statement by SSAA (Vic) CEO Mr Jack Wegam click here.
The National Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group have made recommendations to COAG regarding the banning of Lever and Pump action rifles and shotguns. This has met with opposition from the SSAA as well as the Shooters and Fishers Party. Read the details regarding the recommendations and the Shooters and Fishers response here.
Firearms violence inquiry an expensive witch hunt.
Taxpayers must be told how many of their dollars were spent on Senate Inquiry into firearms violence.
A 180-page report into firearms violence, which was held over three different cities and that took close to a year to research, has no major recommendations into assisting public safety....
The Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia (SSAA) has hit out at the waste in time and public money spent on the Greens' ideologically based inquiry that we suspect was nothing more than a witch hunt to further burden the lawful licensed target shooter and hunter.
"We will be issuing a Freedom of Information request tot he Federal Parliament to find out exactly what this inquiry cost the taxpayer," said SSAA National Tim Bannister.
Early on in the inquiry it became apparent that the Greens Senate Inquiry Chair Penny Wright was not interested in listening tot he evidence presented and had her preconceived prejudices against recreational shooting well and truly in place.
In fact, the majority of the Committee chastised her in the report for speaking to the media even before the Inquiry had finished and making unsubstantiated claims about firearm theft and their misuse.
"The report is astounding in that the only one of the Committee members has added their name to the Chair's recommendations. All other members have dissented and in fact make up the majority , with their own report recommending less red tape for licensed shooters and a study into the social, economic and environmental benefits of hunting across Australia," Mr Bannister said.
"While the report was a waste of resources, we are pleased that finally commonsense is prevailing and we and Australia's 800,000 licensed firearms holders are being listened to by our nation's legislators."
Assistant Range Manager – Springvale Facility
Sporting Shooters Association Australia –Victoria (SSAA (Vic)) is a state sporting organisation representing 34,000 competition and recreational shooters. SSAA (Vic) owns and operates two major shooting range facilities in metro Melbourne which operate up to 7 days per week. SSAA (Vic) requires an Assistant Range Manager to oversee the daily operations its Springvale facility.
SSAA (Vic) is looking for a self-motivated individual to lead a small team of employees and oversee forthcoming capital works projects. Successful applicants must be able to demonstrate strong leadership across paid and voluntary staff, good customer service ethos, experience working within a non-profit organisation and have the availability to work flexible hours including weekends.
For more information about go to www.ssaavic.com.au.
For position description contact Shaun Doyle - firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (03) 8892 2777.
To apply send your CV and covering letter to email@example.com by COB Friday May 1, 2015.
Springvale & Eagle Park Range Closures
The Springvale & Eagle Park Ranges will be closed or have reduced hours on the following days:-
Good Friday 03 April 2015
Springvale - Closed
Eagle Park - Closed
ANZAC Day 25 April 2015
Springvale - open 1.00pm to 6pm
Eagle Park - Closed
Blue Billed Ducks on Northern Wetlands.
We are advising all duck hunters that are intending to hunt on the wetlands around Kerang in the North of the State to be aware of protected species on the following wetlands :-
Lake Murphy is a shallow wetland with two arms that has had environmental water flows into it and yesterday a waterfowl count revealed the following protected birds on the lake 81 Blue Bill, 2 Freckle Duck and Swans in the area.
Lake Elizabeth is a deep saline lake which has also had significant environmental flows of water into it, Lake Elizabeth has 1000 Swans.
Round Lake has 240 Blue Bill duck on it.
Hunters are asked to positively identify their ducks before shooting and pay particular attention to the protected species within these wetlands, for anyone who needs to re-familiarise themselves with the characteristics of Blue Bill duck Click here
Wetland Closures for 2015 Duck Season
The Honourable Jaala Pulford Minister for Agriculture and the Honourable Lisa Neville the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water announced on the 11 March 2015 additional closures to wetlands prohibiting game hunting on them. For more details of the wetlands involved Click here
Lion Trophy import ban
Mathew Godson Special Projects Officer for SSAA National issued a response to Minster Hunt's ban on the importation of African Lion hunting trophies. Click here for his response
Hunting in Africa
The Honourable Greg Hunt has started a debate regarding the hunting of animals in Africa, this has caused some reaction to the viability and sustainability of conservation hunting within Africa and its benefits to the communities in Africa, it has also raised the issue of "Canned hunting of Lions" which is a very different type of hunting altogether, Click here for a statement from Hon Robert Borsak followed by a response from Hon Greg Hunt
Mr Greg Hunt,
Minister for the Environment
I understand that, in association with the Global March for Lions which is being held on the 13th of March 2015, that the Federal Government will be making an announcement in regards to the importation of lion hunting trophies. This matter was put onto the Australian political agenda by Jason Wood who did this at the instigation of a member of his constituency who, it would seem, misrepresented the situation to inspire a knee-jerk reaction by Jason Wood, a goal in which he, or she, was completely successful.
Fearing that this announcement will be detrimental to true and effective lion conservation, I am writing to you to ask that you ensure that the announcement, whatever it is, is truly in the interest of lion conservation and not just an attempt to pander to the animal liberationists for political gains.
If it is your intention to declare a ban on all lion hunting trophies, then you will be interfering, unnecessarily and detrimentally, in the effective conservation of African lions.
Please allow me to quote from your own website, and by that I mean the website of the Department of the Environment, which states:
“The Australian Government is committed to protecting and conserving Australian native wildlife by regulating international trade. This helps to protect targeted species against over exploitation, and Australian ecosystems against the introduction of invasive species.
The Australian Government also supports the efforts of other nations to protect their wildlife, by implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”
Several vital points can be gleaned from this wording on the website.
The first point is that the Australian Government is committed to conservation by regulating trade and by protecting against over exploitation. However the imposition of a blanket ban, with no scientific basis to support that move, does not show a commitment to conservation. Indeed, such a decision will be detrimental to already established and working lion conservation programs.
The wording on your website also states that the Australian Government supports the efforts of other nations to protect their wildlife. A blanket ban on lion hunting trophies does NOT support the conservation efforts of African nations. On the contrary, such a decision is tantamount to dictating to African nations, in a totally arrogant and destructive manner, a policy which has been shown, repeatedly, to be contrary to the basic principles of conservation and which has never, and WILL NEVER, work in Africa.
Further, the wording on your website states that the assistance to other nations will be given by implementing the decisions of CITES. However, CITES has not suggested a blanket ban on lion hunting trophies. In fact, CITES has approved the trade of legally hunted lion trophies from many African nations and for Australia to go against that decision is counter-productive and hardly qualifies as “implementing the decisions of CITES”.
I might also mention that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided, on the 27th of October 2014, to reject the claim that the African lion merited listing as an endangered species under the US Endangered Species Act. Further, the FWS concluded that “sport hunting was not found to be a threat to the species (lions) at this time”.
So CITES allows lion hunting and the trade in lion trophies and the US FWS sees no threat to lions from sport hunting - so why would Australia, with no rational or scientific reason, do otherwise? I urge you to revisit your own department’s stated mandate, in regards to the trade in wildlife, to stand by the decisions of CITES, to genuinely support African nations in their conservation efforts and to only make decisions that are scientifically supportable and that are truly beneficial to conservation.
Canned lion hunting is abhorrent to all keen hunters, myself included, but canned hunting has only ever constituted a very small percentage of lion hunts and I know that very few, if any, Australians have been involved in them. Australian hunters have a reputation, amongst African Professional Hunters and guides, as being very moral, only interested in fair-chase hunting and opposed to unethical and unsportsmanlike practices. The truth is that all true hunters, regardless of their nationality, shun those persons who offer canned hunts and the practice, which has only ever been a very small ‘blip’ on the hunting scene, is most definitely on the decline and is being weeded out by a lack of patronage by the vast majority of ethical hunters and guides. Of course, you will always find a small number of ‘rotten apples’ in every barrel but to destroy working conservation programs and penalize ethical hunters because of the sins of a very small minority is the wrong approach and completely counterproductive for lion conservation.
Why would you want to damage effective and working conservation programs simply to placate a vocal minority over an issue that is not common practice and, in fact, is already on the decline? The animal liberationists might applaud a blanket ban on lion hunting trophies now but they will turn against you on other issues, such as implementing controls and eradication programs for feral cats and foxes. They will turn against you because they are not interested in true conservation. They are only interested in saving every single, individual animal even when such measures are detrimental, even catastrophic, for real conservation programs.
What must always be kept in mind is that animal liberation is NOT conservation and, indeed, the goal of animal liberation is, ultimately, to stop ALL of man’s use, utilization and interaction with animals. This is a totally unworkable goal which is also contrary to the basic principles and mechanisms of true conservation. Indeed, animal liberation has become a huge obstacle to many effective conservation programs. It also needs to be borne in mind that animal liberationists are, in fact, in the minority; albeit a very noisy and largely ill-informed minority.
I urge you not to impose a ban on the importation of lion hunting trophies, indeed any hunting trophies, provided that such hunting is conducted under the strict rules of CITES; which is what Australia has agreed to do by being a signatory to CITES. To do otherwise, would simply be to align yourself with those people who would impose their misguided sensitivities on the rest of us, irrespective of the damage that will cause to wildlife.
In short, do you want to be counted among those who support lion conservation for the long term benefit of lions and, indeed the entire environment, or those who support animal liberation for immediate, but misplaced, self-gratification at the expense of the environment?
I ask that you respond to this letter and advise what your position will be, in regards to the importation of lion and other hunting trophies, and whether the rumours of a ban are true or not. If they are true, please outline the scientific basis for the decision to implement that ban?
Swinging Targets at Eagle Park
New specifications and criteria for the placement of swinging targets on the main firing line at Eagle Park have been introduced. Their introduction is as a result of the incident in December 2014, where a shooter was hit by a projectile thought to be a ricochet off a steel target. The specifications are based on current industry standards. For more details Click Here
Range Officer Training Update
The Board recently adopted the “SSAA (Vic) Range and Range Officer Training Policy”
The purpose of the new policy is to set out the requirements and conditions that must be met to train, qualify and maintain SSAA (Vic) core qualified Range Officer (RO) accreditation.
The objective of the policy is to ensure the safest possible operation of all live firing conducted on SSAA (Vic) ranges.
Shooting alone is permissible under the following conditions: (a) the person must have a current SSAA (Vic) RO core qualification or equivalent.
Recognition of qualification will be given to accredited RO organisations as contained in a schedule to the policy and (b) the RO must have an endorsement in writing from his/her parent club stating that it supports the RO shooting alone and/or is approved by the range manager.
Shooting maybe conducted on a SSAA (Vic) range by a non-SSAA (Vic) core-qualified RO under the following condition. Recognition will be given to non-SSAA (Vic ROs who have a current RO qualification from an accredited RO organisation as specified in a schedule to the policy, currently IPSC, PPLA and SASS. The recognition / exemption will only apply when an RO is engaged in discipline-specific activities.
Any additional RO qualifications required by the many disciplines that operate within SSAA (Vic) are the responsibility of the branch or sub-club engaged in that discipline.
The training and qualification procedure
The Operations Manager (OM) is responsible for managing the core training and qualification of SSAA (Vic) ROs. Only the training package and all related documents as approved by the OM can be used in the delivery of training.
There is to be an application process for the recruitment of RO course applicants, with the applicants needing to meet certain entry requirements as detailed in a schedule to the policy. They include but are not limited to a having current firearm licence and relevant range experience.
There will be a competency-based accreditation program which includes a course of training and formal assessment of competency.
The RO qualification will have an expiry date and will be revalidated every three-years based on the RO meeting accreditation requirements. They will include attestation to having been actively conducting live fire activity on ranges on an on-going basis and being endorsed by the ROs’ parent club and/or the range manager or OM where the RO is not attached to a parent club.
Maximum number of shooters to be supervised by a sole Range Officer.
The maximum number of shooters to be under the direct control of a single RO is 25 shooters and the maximum stint without a break of at least 30 minutes duration is to be no greater than 4 hours.
Qualifications/Experience of Range Officer Training Instructors
RO training instructors may be appointed by the OM after completing the RO instructor training package. Applicants for RO training instructors must have a minimum of five years’ experience conducting ranges and their application be endorsed by the Sub-Club or Branch.
What does the new policy mean for current ROs?
There will be no requirement for current ROs to refresh or re-qualify, however current ROs will need to revalidate once this process has been implemented.
For further information or clarification about the new policy please contact State Office.
Springvale Range 5 has been re- approved by LRD and is again opened for business.
Will be trialling opening 7 days a week from February.
Mon – Fri 5.00-9.00pm
Sat 10.00am – 6.00pm
Bruno’s Cafe will also be opening 7 days a week for a trail period starting next week.
Eagle Park 5 stand shotgun range
The five stand range is closed pending certification from Victoria Police. As soon as the range is certified we will advise of its reopening
2015 Duck season
The 2015 Victorian Duck Season has been announced.
The 2015 duck hunting season will commence on Saturday 21 March at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central zone and 7.30am in the western zone, and closes half an hour after sunset on Monday 8 June, 2015.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford today announced a full-length duck hunting season of 12 weeks with restrictions to the daily bag limit.
The daily bag limit will be 10 ducks on opening day, with a five per day bag limit for the remainder of the season.
For further details please see the media release on the Victorian Premier website http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/dry-conditions-lead-to-changes-to-2015-duck-season
Can you help?
"I need some assistance and I'm wondering if you can help me. I'm at the planning stage of building a brand new multi-million state-of-the-art firearm business with an onsite 21st century indoor shooting range in Pakenham, Victoria. Like you, our mission is to promote responsible shooting and ethical hunting, as well as embracing, promoting and support the sport. Please visit our website for more information www.southerncrossfirearms.com.au.
I'm about to submit our application for permits to the Cardina Shire Council for the firearm shop and onsite indoor shooting range, but we first need to build some awareness and support from the firearm community because as you're aware, the more support we receive from the community the more it tips those approval scales in our favour + our application is very expensive and we want to see some support before any financial commitments are made.
We have everything lined up and ready to go for our application and as mentioned, we first need support from the firearm community. I'm just wondering if there's some way we can work together to help us gain the awareness and support we need?"
Chris Moore - 0409 045 787
Southern Cross Firearms (Aust)
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714 - 716 Princes Hwy, Springvale 3171
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Eagle Park Range
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Unit 3, 26 Ellingworth Parade, Box Hill, 3128
9am - 5pm Monday - Friday
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Fax (03) 8892 2700
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