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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
Sustainable duck hunting the goal in season recommendation
SSAA Victoria has added its voice to the recommendation for a modified 2020 Duck Season to ensure a season goes ahead.
The recommendation was made to the Game Management Authority in a submission made jointly by Field and Game Australia and SSAA Victoria
. It suggests the season be shortened by two weeks and the bag limit reduced from 10 to six ducks per hunter.
SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said the recommendation acknowledges the drought conditions which are affecting water bird numbers in Victoria.
“We could go in boots and all and demand a full season, which is what we always want, but it’s just not realistic this year given the continuing low bird numbers counted in all the surveys we’ve seen,” he said.
“We want sustainable duck hunting in Victoria to make sure our kids can enjoy it as much as us, and then their kids. The way to do that is respect the science and work with the Government and authorities.
“Last year we were not satisfied with the rationale for a restricted season because there was no transparency on how the decision was made.
“We are still dissatisfied with the process, but this year we believe a full season is not in the best interests of sustainable hunting.”
Mr Laird said he understood the submission’s recommendations would not please everyone but hoped that SSAA Victoria’s members would see reason.
“It's important to negotiate these issues in a reasonable manner because the Government is under pressure to cancel the season all together,” he said.
“If we were to go in with an all-or-nothing approach, we would lose the respect we've worked so hard to build at Government level and there would be no credible opposition to cancelling or banning duck hunting altogether.
“Facts are facts. Duck numbers and habitat have been affected by the drought and we respect the science which proves it.”
Since 1995 there have only been seven full duck seasons. It was cancelled four times and modified the remaining 14 times.
The Government will announce its final decision on the 2020 Duck Season in January.
Hunter maps welcomed
New electronic hunting maps have finally been officially released after consultation with hunting organisations including SSAA Victoria.
The new maps are an overlay for Victoria’s already popular More To Explore phone app, which is currently used by more than 20,000 people to navigate 3.9 million hectares of public land.
The app is Victoria’s first comprehensive electronic mapping system showing all public land available for hunters, as well as which species of both game animals and pests can be hunted in specific areas – with the maps also available for download to use offline or out of mobile range.
“One of the issues for hunters, especially the many new people who we see coming to hunting in Victoria, is knowing exactly where they can go,” said SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird.
“We worked with the Department through its Sustainable Hunting Action Plan to provide input into how the maps could work and we reckon they’ve come up OK.
“They are not perfect and we know there are some issues with private property and grazing lease areas. We encourage our members to let us know if they spot an issue by contacting me at the State Office (email@example.com)
“But we do congratulate the Minister for Agriculture for showing her support for hunting in Victoria by announcing the maps.”
The app is regularly updated to reflect changes in land status and show road closures and also features an emergency location function for public land users’ safety.
The new electronic hunting maps are a key initiative under the Labor Government’s $5.3 million Sustainable Hunting Action Plan, which was adopted to support the game hunting industry's long-term growth.
“The new maps are part of our commitment to make sure hunting is conducted in a safe, responsible and sustainable way right across the state,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes.
“The app will be a great tool to help hunters stay informed about their favourite hunting locations or explore new ones.”
In January, the Government provided $6 million to the Game Management Authority to boost its compliance and enforcement capabilities and improve communication and education about legal hunting in Victoria.
More To Explore is available from the iOS App Store and the Google Play store. For more information, visit the GMA website
Updated LRD Change of Details form
Victoria Police’s Licensing and Regulation Division (LRD) has amended its VP1395 form (Change of Details)
for firearms licence holders. The form will be required to be completed when requesting a change of:
- Residential, business and/or storage address
- Personal details (date of birth, phone number, email)
Licence holders will be required to send this form along with any other supporting documents, to LRD via post or email as per usual.
LRD said it has made the change to help get applications through faster by streamlining the process.
A licence holder must continue to notify LRD via email (firstname.lastname@example.org
) when they want to change their licence category or upgrade/downgrade their licence during the term of their licence.
Hunting charges dropped in airboat case
Two charges of hunting from a boat laid against a duck hunter by the Game Management Authority have been dropped in the Geelong Magistrates Court.
The charges were laid after a video was taken of the man and another hunter using an airboat during duck season on Cundare Pool, near Lake Corangamite, west of Geelong.
The GMA then charged the hunter with hunting from a boat, assisting hunting from a boat, disturbing wildlife and not wearing a life vest.
The two hunting charges were dropped and the hunter was fined $5000 after pleading guilty to the remaining charges.
No conviction was recorded and the boat which had been impounded after the charges were laid was also returned to the hunter.
SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said he hoped the protestors who illegally invade the wetlands during duck season were pursued with the same level of vigour.
“We have seen extremists on the water deliberately alarm wildlife with sirens, whistles and flags,” he said.
“They do this with the express purpose of scaring native birds in direct contravention of the regulations.
“As has been demonstrated by this case, disturbing wildlife can result in a heavy fine so we are calling on the authorities to bring some of these wilful law-breakers to account.
“We also call on the courts to be just as heavy-handed with them as they have been with a hunter wanting to put food on his family table.”
Mr Laird said the matter also highlighted the need to be vigilant against falling victim to the radical element bent on taking away the freedoms of hunters in Victoria.
“We encourage duck hunters to video all interactions with the extremist bigots who want to disrupt their lawful pursuit,” he said.
“We have witnessed gross exaggeration and outright lies being levelled against hunters which can lead to false accusations, so using video to record encounters can help safeguard against it.”