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Springvale Range
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SSAA Victoria News

River Red Gum Parks draft plan released

Parks Victoria has released its River Red Gum Parks Draft Management Plan and invited the public to prepare submissions on it. The River Red Gum Parks Management Plan is a strategic guide for managing five national parks and more than 100 other parks and reserves. The River Red Gum Parks plan covers 215,000 ha from the South Australian border to Wodonga, and has wide ranging implications for all users. The plan involves changing state forests and various tenures of public land into parks. It could lead to restrictions on what people could do – like camping, 4WDing and fishing – in certain areas. Lobbying by stakeholder groups, including SSAA Victoria, when the plan was first floated several years ago, means that hunting will continue in State Game Reserves, bushland reserves, streamside reserves and historic areas and reserves. However, with the classification of many areas changing under the plan, it may have implications for hunting. At a recent briefing, Parks Victoria committed to providing SSAA Victoria with more detailed maps of the areas in question to enable the Association to identify any potential restrictions to hunting. SSAA Victoria is preparing a submission focusing on hunting-related matters. Members are invited to contact the Hunting Development Manager, David Laird, to discuss the submission. All members who camp, fish or boat along the Murray River are also encouraged to read the plan and prepare individual submissions on any issues that affect them. All material for consideration in the SSAA Victoria submission should be supplied by Friday, September 15. Online submissions must be completed by Saturday, September 30, 2017.

Extended trading at Springvale

The Springvale Range will open at 3pm on Thursdays and Fridays from Thursday, September 14. It will be on a trial basis until the end of the year, when a permanent decision will be made. The trial was introduced in response to the increasing popularity of the range. Members should be aware that the range will still close at 9pm on those days – extending the trading by two hours.

Back to the basics of SSAA Victoria

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) was incorporated as a public company on October 1, 1973. We exist to promote the shooting sports and protect firearm owners' interests. With more than 36,000 members, SSAA Victoria is a leading body representing licensed firearm owners in Victoria. SSAA Victoria has more than a dozen branches and more than 30 sub-clubs and disciplines within the organisation. SSAA Victoria is dedicated to supporting its 36,000 members through its facilities, competitions, communications and advocacy work. All members have access to fortnightly electronic newsletters, the bi-monthly electronic Victorian Shooter magazine and breaking news alerts, to ensure they keep up to date with issues affecting firearm users. SSAA memberships are offered to juniors and pensioners at discounted rates. The current Victorian board election has created plenty of interest within SSAA Victoria. Campaigning by those who have nominated for the available positions on the board has been vigorous. Many members are obviously very passionate about the Association, which is great to see, and there has certainly been plenty of criticism directed at SSAA Victoria, especially via social media platforms. Constructive criticism and positive suggestions are always welcome. There is always room for improvement and refinement. Malicious statements, however, merely undermines the Association and hinders its ability to fulfil its aims and objectives. It may be appropriate to take things back a step and look at the aims and objectives of the Association. Is the criticism being directed at it justified in light of those objectives? SSAA Victoria is not, and will never be, all things to all people. However, the Association is very clear in its aims and objectives and what it offers members.

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  • To promote and encourage competitive target shooting and practice shooting, with a view to developing proficient and safe use of firearms
  • To promote and encourage ethical hunting and field shooting, and related ancillary activities
  • To promote and advocate game and fauna conservation and to promote a better understanding between members, landholders, regulatory bodies, other interest groups and the general public
  • To promote and advocate the rights of firearms owners to legislative and regulatory bodies, and to the general public
  • To promote country centres throughout the state of Victoria for the purposes of carrying out any of the objectives of the company


  • As an approved hunting organisation and approved target shooting club, membership to SSAA gives you a ‘genuine reason’ for firearm ownership as per the Victorian Firearms Act 1996
  • $20m public liability insurance
  • Free annual subscription to Australian Shooter magazine
  • Free annual subscription to Victorian Shooter magazine
  • Free copies of the Junior Shooter
  • Discounted subscription rates to all other SSAA publications
  • Discounted range fees
In spite of criticism from some quarters, the Association has had significant achievements. Members are encouraged to read the Annual Report 2017 for more information on those achievements. They include a $1.14m surplus, the purchase of the Springvale Range, and the employment of a dedicated Hunting Development Manager. The Association encourages all members to have their say in a constructive way and to vote in the election.

Grazing licences encroach on hunting country

The Association has been made aware of a potentially significant issue for deer hunters. Large areas of state forest in significant deer habitat have grazing licences issued over them. Unfortunately, the issuing of some of the licences has the technical effect of that land being considered ‘private property’ under the Victorian Firearms Act 1996. SSAA Victoria’s Hunting Development Manager, David Laird, said it meant anyone hunting on that land must technically have the permission of the licensee (considered to be the ‘landowner’ under legislation). The issue came to light recently, when the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) requested that Game Management Authority (GMA) change the hunting access maps on its website. GMA and DELWP disagree on the areas available to hunting and the two departments are working through their issue. “This is a ludicrous situation,” David said. “We now have two government departments unable to agree on where people can legally hunt. If the government can’t get it right, how can our members?” SSAA Victoria supports the multiple use concept in state forests and is not opposed to cattle grazing in appropriate areas. It is working towards a resolution and will inform members when some clarity emerges.
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