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Leading Sports Shooting Body

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 News

Make the wheel squeak on VEAC public land lock-up proposal

Take action!

A guide to getting your voice heard on the proposal to take away nearly 80,000ha of hunting land in the central west

  1. Find your local MP/s (www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/electorates)
  2. Request a meeting
  3. Write a letter
The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s (VEAC) disastrous recommendation to decimate hunting land in Victoria’s central west is waiting for a decision by government. But there is still time to let MPs who will consider the recommendation know about the impact turning 80,000ha of state forest into National Park will have on the hunting communities around Bendigo and Ballarat. VEAC delivered its Central West Investigation Final Report in June after a request for the investigation by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio in 2017. The report focused on the Mount Cole (Pyrenees), Wombat (Macedon) and Wellsford (Bendigo) State Forests. During the public consultation process SSAA Victoria and other hunting organisations made submissions which highlighted the importance of hunting in those areas. But hunters appear to have been ignored in the Final Report which proposes to shut them out of 77,277ha of public land. SSAA Victoria has requested an urgent meeting with Minister D’Ambrosio to again highlight the impact the Final Report’s recommendations would have on the hunting community. We are also seeking meetings with other Cabinet Ministers to ensure our wheel squeaks. But it will squeak much louder with your input. If the VEAC recommendations affect your ability to hunt or otherwise use the State Forest areas which would be locked up, then raise it with your Lower and Upper House MPs. Find who your representatives are by putting your postcode into the www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/electorates and request a meeting with them. By meeting with them, you show that you are truly concerned and that carries a lot of weight when it comes to politicians making decisions.

Meeting a member of parliament guidelines

  1. Be respectful! Dress appropriately and treat your MP with common courtesy. If you go in with threats of not voting for them in the next election or telling them you pay their wages, your message will be lost.
  2. Keep it short and to the point. An MP’s time is short and if you’ve managed to get a meeting, you have been given a great opportunity so don’t waste it.
  3. Be clear about your concerns. There is nothing worse than going in without properly understanding the issue, so read the Final Report and be clear on what parts concern you. Prepare for the meeting with a document that has bullet points about your key concern/s to leave with the Member.
  4. Share the results. If you’ve managed to get into the meeting, share it on our Facebook page to encourage more to act. And send your summary document to comms@ssaavic.com.au so we can raise your concerns in our meetings in Parliament. If you don’t get a positive response to a meeting request, let us know too, so we can show we tried.

Key points:

  • The VEAC Central West Investigation Final Report incorrectly classifies hunting as “consumptive use” alongside forestry and mining.
  • Hunters support good conservation outcomes and provide cost-effective pest management on public land. Denying hunters access promotes the prevalence of pest species which directly impacts native flora and fauna.
  • Deer should be managed to control the population and the Final Report takes away a highly effective deer management tool.
  • Hunting adds $439 million each year to the Victorian economy and much of that money is spent in regional areas. Reducing hunting opportunities robs regional communities of hunting tourism revenue.
 

Write a letter

The other way to get your message across is by writing a letter, preferably as an email (MPs are not required to respond to handwritten or posted letters despite what you might have heard). We have prepared a sample letter to help you write your own. Please use the issues identified in your letter if you wish, but do not copy and paste the content. Your own words are much more powerful.

Some things to note:

  1. Get your MP’s name and title right. Spell their name correctly and apply their honorific (eg: The Hon. Bill Bloggs MP to show you’ve taken due consideration and want to be taken seriously. As in the meeting guidelines, be respectful and avoid threats so your message isn’t discarded.
  2. Include your address. It proves you are in the elected representative’s seat which carries more weight.
  3. Be specific. Raise specific points (bullet points are best) and if you can, point to the exact part of the Final Report which concerns you.
  4. Keep it brief. If your letter is more than one A4 page (about 300 words), then it is less likely to be read. MPs get tonnes of letters so give yourself the best chance of being heard by being short and sweet.

OSA Australia to bring big brands to SHOT Expo

Another of Australia’s biggest names in firearms, ammunition and accessories has been added to the growing list of exhibitors at the SSAA SHOT Expo. OSA Australia, which distributes Lithgow Arms, Sauer, Henry, Howa, Blaser, Mauser among many other brands, joins Winchester, Polaris, Beretta and Swarovski as a gold sponsor of the October 19-20 Expo. These sponsors and dozens of other distributors are filling the main hall at the Melbourne Showgrounds where the event will be held. They are bringing the latest firearms, hunting equipment, recreation vehicles, optics, apparel, ammunition, range equipment and accessories to the event. More than 15,000 visitors are expected to come to the Expo, which continues to be Australia’s longest running and most trusted shooting, hunting and outdoor trades show. SSAA Victoria, which is hosting the event, will focus on providing a pathway to the shooting sports for those interested. “Our research shows that many people who come to the event are curious about what’s required to take up shooting,” said SSAA Victoria Communications Manager Justin Law. “SSAA Victoria wants to help foster that interest by providing training and helping new shooters navigate the onerous firearms licence application process. “The SSAA SHOT Expo is the perfect opportunity to provide a roadmap for those with no experience to become a safe and responsible shooter.” Mr Law said that the Main Stage presentations during the SHOT Expo will focus on the opportunities for new shooters. “Once a person gets their firearms licence, the next step is purchasing a firearm and getting involved with the many different shooting disciplines provided by SSAA Victoria. “To help them take that next step, the Main Stage will feature presentations on getting started, buying a firearm and getting into hunting, handguns and clay target shooting.” For details about the 2019 SSAA SHOT Expo at Melbourne Showgrounds October 19-20, visit ssaashotexpo.org.au or find it on Facebook @SSAASHOTExpo.    

VEAC proposal ignores hunters

SSAA Victoria has sought an urgent meeting with the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change after a report recommended locking up vast tracts of hunting land. Last month the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) submitted to the Minister its Central West Investigation Final Report which recommended turning 77,377ha of Mt Cole, Wellsford and Wombat State Forest into national park. The recommendations severely restrict the already limited hunting opportunities for hunters in the State’s west. The final report also ignored SSAA Victoria submissions made during the public consultation process in 2017 and late last year which raised concerns that the VEAC proposal contravened the principles of the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan (SHAP). “We do not understand why there is an obsession with locking away accessible public land when there is a clear need to control pest and game species,” SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said. “It is hunters who achieve these outcomes and who do a great service in the areas that VEAC wants to protect. The idea of locking us out of it makes no sense. “The recommendations also fly in the face of SHAP, which the Victorian Government has committed to, that has clear principles in delivering increased hunting opportunities.” In response to the release of the recommendations, SSAA Victoria CEO Jack Wegman has sought an urgent meeting with Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio. “We put two solid submissions to VEAC clearly outlining the impact its proposal would have on our members, but they have been ignored,” he said. “The recommendations impose the same restrictions on hunters as consumptive users such as the timber industry. “That makes no sense considering hunting benefits native wildlife by removing introduced species from their habitat. “We are now seeking a meeting with the Minister to ensure the potential impact on our members and the environment is properly understood.” The Government has until early 2020 to respond to the final recommendations. A rally of all state forest users who would be affected by the VEAC recommendations has been planned for August 27.

Poachers cop heavy fines and firearm confiscation

SSAA Victoria has applauded the efforts of the Game Management Authority and Victoria Police in bringing criminals to justice after two men were convicted of several hunting and firearm related offences in North East Victoria. The men from Taggerty and Mansfield were fined more than $6000 and were forced to forfeit firearms, tools and prohibited items. SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said the offenders were criminals – not licensed hunters. “These people are not representative of the hunting community which respects the law and the ethics of hunting,” he said. “They are just criminals and their actions do a lot of harm to the reputation of hunting in Victoria. “We applaud the GMA and Victoria Police for their thorough investigation and efforts to confronting this kind of illegal behaviour.” The GMA and Victoria Police investigated an incident where a Sambar Deer was illegally shot on private property at approximately 2:30am on July 19, 2018. GMA’s Director of Compliance and Intelligence Paul Stevens said “a member of the public contacted the GMA after they awoke to a gunshot and saw an unfamiliar vehicle driving on their property. “On further inspection, a freshly shot Sambar deer was found left behind with its head partly severed in an attempt to remove its antlers.” A bullet was removed from the deer and the registration details of the vehicle were given to the GMA and police. This information led officers to the residence of the accused, where officers interviewed the alleged offender and seized three firearms along with a mobile phone. The firearms and the bullet were analysed by the Victoria Police Forensics Unit, resulting in confirmation the bullet which killed the Sambar deer was fired from one of the seized firearms. The mobile phone was analysed by a special investigation unit, revealing videos of the offender and another associate committing hunting, criminal damage and firearm-related offences. The two offenders were found guilty for offences including using and possessing a firearm when prohibited, possessing stolen goods, criminal damage, possessing spotlights in recognised deer habitat after sunset, shooting protected wildlife, and fishing for priority species of fish out of season. One offender was issued with a 15-month Community Correction Order, 150 hours of community service, a $1000 fine and had a number of illegal items forfeited. The other offender was issued with a $5000 fine for hunting and firearm-related offences, a $100 fine for possession of a prohibited knuckleduster and had his firearms forfeited. Mr Stevens said the GMA, Victoria Police and partner agencies will continue to work together to target illegal hunting in Victoria. "Illegal hunting and irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. It is dangerous and can put people and wildlife at risk," Mr Stevens said. "Hunters need to make sure that they are familiar with the laws and are not hunting deer illegally." Hunters and the public are urged to report any illegal hunting to the GMA through its website www.gma.vic.gov.au or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or by contacting Victoria Police.
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