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Hunting and Pest Control
Firearms training

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

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 or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or by contacting Victoria Police.

Grampians aerial cull will rob hunters of opportunity

SSAA Victoria has criticised Parks Victoria’s plans to cull deer and goats in the Grampians National Park from the air next week. The proposed cull, which will close sections of the park during the six days of the operation, follows aerial cull trials in the Alpine Region earlier this year. SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said the aerial cull would rob hunters of opportunity and there had been no transparency of the trial results. “We have not seen how much those trials have cost or whether the culling has achieved the damage mitigation that is being sought, and yet aerial culling now appears to be the first course of action where there’s a perceived problem,” he said. “We agree that deer and goats can have a negative impact on sensitive park areas but sending in the choppers and leaving the carcasses for wild dogs should be the last resort. “Hunters took 100,000 deer from public lands in 12 months and did so at no cost to the taxpayer. In fact, hunters pay for the privilege themselves. “SSAA Victoria also participates in co-ordinated volunteer programs alongside Parks Victoria to great effect. “We would hope Parks Victoria will consider making better use of the hunter resource in the future.” Mr Laird said the red deer herd in The Grampians had been there since the mid-19th century and could provide excellent hunting opportunities. He said balloted hunting, where a limited number of hunters can hunt in an area during a specified period, would be a better alternative. “Balloted hunting has been successfully carried out on public land in parallel with other activities. There is no practical reason why balloted hunting could not occur in many parts of the Grampians,” Mr Laird said. “So why would a government spend millions of dollars on aerial culling and paid contractors when balloted hunters and volunteers would actually pay for the opportunity to do that work.”

Insurance company "inertia" hampers range roof rebuild

The Eagle Park Main Range 1 roof rebuild saga is hopefully soon coming to an end after months of delays, with the end of August the updated completion date. “It’s been a frustrating process, especially for the clubs and members who’ve been massively inconvenienced by the works,” Facilities Manager Shaun Doyle said. “We’ve been hampered by unforeseen issues which were compounded by the inertia of the insurance company. “If we didn’t have to wait for approvals by the insurance company, the works would have been completed by now.” Anyone who has dealt with insurance companies will know they can move at glacial pace, and that has been the experience at Eagle Park. It took months from the time the old structure was damaged by wind in September last year to even get a decision from the underwriter on whether to replace or repair the remaining structure. It was determined a full replacement was required and plans were drawn up and approved by the underwriter before the building permit was issued with hopes all would be completed by the end of April. When everything seemed to be on track to get the new structure up, builders then hit an unforeseen snag in the form of old concrete footings where the new footings were planned to be positioned at the rear of the firing line. That was just before Easter and meant revising the building plans and returning to the underwriter with new costings for them to approve, which further delayed the process. The idea was to install new footings behind the old and add to the depth of the roof, especially after all the front footings had already been dug. It then transpired that the redesign required the application for a planning permit which would add a further three to six months to the project. Alternatives which would not require a planning permit were sought and it was decided to shift the footings 1m laterally. This means that the newly dug front footings will be filled and repaired this week and building can recommence soon afterwards. Without further delays, including weather, it’s anticipated the new roof will be completed by the end of August.
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