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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
Call to take Freckled Duck off endangered list
Areas of Lake Bolac have been closed to duck hunters
due to significant numbers of freckled duck prompting a call to review the status of current endangered species.
Several State Game Reserves and other wetlands have been subject to closures this season
because of the presence of a high number of Freckled Duck which is classified as endangered. Their presence in high numbers is despite lower overall numbers of ducks due to the dry conditions.
“It makes you wonder if the science used to determine whether or not a species is endangered is being applied,” SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said.
“Several State Game Reserves have been closed since duck season opening and now there is a further closure because of the presence of Freckled Duck. Lake Elizabeth was closed on the eve of Duck Season because of the presence of Freckled Duck.
“It has shown that animal activist extremism is ahead of sound science and common sense when making decisions which affect those of us who enjoy the cultural pursuit of hunting.”
Mr Laird said that SSAA Victoria accepted genuine reasons to restrict hunting in some areas where non-game species were present, but there needed to be a review of the status of Freckled Duck.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which determines whether a species is threatened or not, lists Freckled Duck in Australia as Least Concern
“This is based on a Birdlife International study of the species so it begs the question how they can be considered endangered just in Victoria and on State Game Reserves,” Mr Laird said.
“The only reason we can see is the government bowing to pressure from extremist lobby groups who abuse and denigrate our members who are entitled to their lawful and cultural pursuit.”
Mr Laird said good recent rainfall through central Australia meant ideal breeding conditions for ducks ahead of the 2020 duck season.
“Lake Eyre is filling and there has been significant rainfall in the channel country which point to a massive increase in duck populations,” he said.
“We hope that if these conditions prevail, it will translate into some common sense applied to bag limits and declarations of threatened species next season.”
In the meantime, SSAA Victoria continues to lobby the government to improve process around these issues and to prevent unnecessary closures.
“Currently an area can be closed immediately but it takes days of bureaucratic red tape to get them reopened,” Mr Laird said.
“Hospital Swamp was closed due to the presence of Curlew Sandpipers, but hasn’t been reopened even though rising water levels saw the birds depart over a week ago.
“Provision should be made for the immediate reopening of any area subject to emergency closure once the cause of the closure is no longer valid.
“Victorian duck hunters are facing a reduced season and bag limits. Their hunting opportunities should not be further reduced and adversely affected by bureaucratic inefficiency.”
Don't get sucked in by extremists this weekend
Video all interaction with anti-duck hunting activists is the key message for hunters as duck season comes to an end half an hour after sunset on Sunday, May 19.
This weekend is the last opportunity for the year for our duck hunters to get out and enjoy a social gathering, celebrate their hunting traditions and ensure they have a few ducks in the freezer to see them through until next season.
Hunters are warned that protester activity is anticipated in some areas, with Lake Connewarre expected to be a focus, but video evidence is a powerful tool against their lies and exaggerations.
"An activist made serious allegations in relation to being struck by a vehicle driven by a duck hunter this season," said SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird.
"It is fortunate the hunter in question had dash-cam footage that clearly showed what had happened.
"Victoria Police investigations into the incident are ongoing, but the damning allegations of the activist and her colleagues were clearly exposed as lies by the dash-cam footage."
Mr Laird said the activists have struggled for traction this season as hunter behaviour has been good across the state. They will be looking for any last-minute controversy or conflict that they can generate to further their radical agenda.
He attended a meeting at Connewarre recently with representatives from Field and Game Australia, Australian Deer Association, Game Management Authority and local police to discuss protester activity in the area.
The advice given by police is for hunters to:
- video record any interactions with activists,
- remain polite and calm, and
- obey the law.
“Remember that your actions reflect on all duck hunters and the cultural activity of duck hunting itself,” Mr Laird said.
“Activists will attempt to provoke a reaction and then use edited footage to portray duck hunters as aggressive and dangerous.
“Do not get sucked in by them. They are extremists and some of them will go to any lengths to further their agenda.
“Footage taken by hunters that shows activist behaviour can be used to put interactions into perspective.”
Hunters have the right to go about their lawful activity without hinderance by activists. If activists are blocking your way in public areas, such as boat ramps or roadways, record the interaction and politely ask them to move. If they continue to obstruct you then call the police.
If activists approach you or hinder your hunt on a wetland, again, record the interaction. Such video should then be referred to police or GMA. Hunters should be prepared to make a statement and explain how the activist hindered their hunt.
It is recommended that any members who face harassment, intimidation or hinderance from activists before, during or after their hunt contact Mr Laird on 8892 2777 to discuss the matter. SSAA Victoria will help refer the matter to the correct agency for investigation.
“Hunters just want to be able to go about their hunting without interference,” Mr Laird said.
“They don’t want to have to record interactions and waste good hunting time dealing with extremist activists. Unfortunately, it is becoming a necessity in situations where activists confront hunters.
“If you are faced with activist interference the advice is to take one for the team. Be prepared to sacrifice your immediate hunt to be able to provide information that might lead to a conviction against these people.
“Take heart in the fact that while these idiots might be wrecking your day, the evidence you gather may well wreck theirs down the track.
“Also take heart in the fact that while they are disrupting you, other hunters are able to hunt unhindered.
“Hunters are held to account for their actions. It is about time these extremist activists were as well.”
Enjoy the last weekend of the season.
Bad weather stalls aerial deer cull
Adverse weather conditions have prevented Parks Victoria from completing its deer aerial shooting trial which commenced on Tuesday, May 7.
PV said the operation will resume on Wednesday, May 15 and, subject to weather conditions, continue until Friday, May 17.
The areas of the park subject to shooting will be closed on these dates but the park is open this weekend (May 11-12).
The shooting trial will be conducted in the Mt Bogong, Bogong High Plains and Mt Feathertop areas of the Alpine National Park. No shooting will occur within 300m of any private property or public roads adjacent to the Deer Control Area boundary.
The Great Alpine Road, the Bogong High Plains Road and Wallace’s Hut will remain open.
While the shooting areas will be closed, large areas of the park will remain open to visitors, including Mountain Creek Camping Area and visitor sites along the Mitta Mitta River.
Mt Buffalo National Park, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek Alpine Resorts, and Dinner Plain will not be affected.
PV also said some areas of the Alpine National Park have been affected by fire and are currently closed. For up-to-date information on fire affected areas, visit parkweb.vic.gov.au.
Repairs get off on wrong foot
Repairs to Eagle Park's Main Range 1 have hit a stumbling block with old footings discovered rear of the range under the concrete slab.
The discovery was made by contractors digging holes for the new footings just prior to Easter and now means a redesign of the replacement roof, delaying construction by at least two weeks.
"It's disappointing to hit an unforeseen snag after all the processes we've gone through to get to this stage," said SSAA Victoria Facilities Manager Shaun Doyle.
"We've had delays in getting approvals for altered engineering plans and then getting approvals from the underwriters. Now to find old footings under the concrete is very frustrating.”
The building contractor had its engineer inspect the footings to investigate whether they could be strengthened and reused for the new structure.
However, the quantity of the concrete and unknown depth of each footing meant attempting to reuse them would add considerable time and cost to the project. Additionally, all the holes for the footings for the front posts had already been dug so shifting the structure sideways would mean redoing that work.
“The engineer determined that the old footings were not suitable without significant works,” Mr Doyle said.
“So, the recommendation is to extend the depth of the rear of the range by 500mm to allow new footings to be constructed.
“The change requires the roof to be redesigned to allow for this extra width and the builder is now waiting on new plans from the engineer.
“The project will then need to be requoted to include the cost of extending the concrete slab and the new quote will then need to be approved by the underwriters.
“It is estimated that this process will take two weeks and we’re hopeful construction can recommence immediately afterwards.”
The roof over Main Range 1 was extensively damaged in September last year when a freak gust of wind ripped up dyna bolts securing the structure to concrete footings.