The Victorian State Government has released the first quarterly progress report on the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan (SHAP).
The concept of a quarterly report is excellent. In theory, it will inform all stakeholders and the general public of the progress of the plan. It will also keep the various government departments, responsible for specific actions, accountable.
Unfortunately, while the first report paints a positive picture, the reality is that there is no great substance to it. It speaks mainly in generalities about what the plan is supposed to deliver. Stakeholders already know what it is supposed to deliver, but they want to know how it is going to be delivered, who is responsible for doing the work, when it will be done and where it will be done. The report should provide updates on the status of each individual action, according to the criteria.
The report contains a couple of positive announcements. It reminds readers that the Game Hunting in Victoria manual has been produced. The manual is a fine resource that all licensed game hunters in Victoria should now have received. The Association encourages every hunter to read it. Spare copies are available from the SSAA State Office. The report also reveals that $40000 has been allocated to support the preservation of the National Hunting Archive. It is another good initiative that SSAA Victoria is pleased to see funded.
As a major stakeholder representing hunters in Victoria, SSAA Victoria has been promised involvement in the implementation process. It has identified the actions most relevant to our members and will ensure it is involved in them. SSAA Victoria initiated meetings with Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR); with Department for Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria to discuss the SHAP implementation and SSAA Victoria involvement. Further meetings are being scheduled with the Game Management Authority (GMA).
SSAA Victoria enjoys a good working relationship with those departments and the personnel working for them. The Association looks forward to continuing that relationship and being actively involved in the implementation of the SHAP. Specific details of that involvement are being considered at the moment. SSAA Victoria expects to see detailed strategies, project plans and benchmarks being announced as soon as possible, clearly outlining stakeholder involvement.
The SHAP outlines a positive direction for hunting in Victoria and the Government seems to be genuinely committed to it. SSAA Victoria is aware that bureaucracies move slowly, but a plan that purports to be for 2016-2020 needs to move faster than it is. The Association will also advocate for a better format for future quarterly reports, one that clearly identifies where individual actions are, compared to detailed set targets.
View the quarterly report here.