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COVID-19 statement

COVID-19 statement

HUNTING SEASON (Update – 14 April)

SSAA Victoria is receiving numerous inquiries about upcoming hunting seasons and whether or not they are going ahead.

Hog deer season and hound hunting season both commence on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Quail season commences on Saturday, April 4. However, recreational hunters are not permitted to go hunting as it is not considered an essential service or activity.

The following paragraph appears in the Parks Victoria information document that is linked below:

The Victorian Government is directing all Victorians to stay at home, restricting sporting, cultural, recreational and commercial activities to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you can stay home, you must stay home. Currently there are only four reasons to leave your house:

  • For food and supplies that you need.
  • For exercise.
  • For medical care and care giving.
  • And for work and education – if necessary

Parks Victoria is closing additional high-visitation parks (listed below) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

At the direction of the Chief Health Officer, Parks Victoria has closed all playgrounds on its estate to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). To stop groups of people gathering around park facilities, all Parks Victoria managed BBQ facilities, water drinking fountains, picnic shelters and tables, rotundas, toilets and viewing platforms are also closed until further notice. Parks remain accessible for exercise if physical distancing requirements are strictly followed.

Hunters do need to adhere to general directives around appropriate social distancing, social gatherings and non-essential travel.

The links below provide the current advice provided by Parks Victoria, DELWP, the current Victorian Government directions (as at 26 March 2020) and the DHHS Covid-19 information page.

Government directives regarding COVID-19 are changing on a regular basis. It is each individual’s responsibility to ensure they know and comply with legislation. It is your responsibility to check current directives before engaging in any activity.

SSAA Victoria wishes all members the very best in these uncertain and confusing times. Look after yourselves and try to make the most of a bad situation with good-will and patience. All members are encouraged to comply with directives aimed at preserving life.

The Association will provide updated information to members as it becomes available.

Season Dates:

The 2020 Hound Season runs from April 1 – November 30, except the period from the Friday before Easter Sunday to the Wednesday after Easter Sunday (inclusive) when Easter falls in April. (Easter falls in April this year.)

The 2020 Hog Deer Season runs from April 1 to April 30. All hunters must have tags before hunting hog deer and are limited to one male and one female.

The 2020 Stubble Quail Season opens on Saturday 4 April 2020 and closes on Tuesday 30 June 2020.  The bag limit is a maximum of 20 birds per day.

The modified 2020 Duck Season commences on May 2 and closes on June 8. The bag limit is a maximum of three birds per day, with no Blue-winged Shoveler allowed to be taken.

https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-in-nature/covid-19-update

https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0025/459403/Caravan_parks_and_camping_grounds_faqs.docx

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/202003/Non-Essential-Activity-Directions-No-2.pdf

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

 

Handgun attendance requirements (Update 26 March)

Please click on the link below to see  Victoria Police  – Licensing and Regulations Division (LRD) statement.

SSAA Victoria will continue to work with LRD regarding handgun attendance requirements. However the final decision will be with LRD.

https://www.police.vic.gov.au/firearms-industry-news

 

ALL SSAA Victoria Ranges Closed (Update – 25 March)

SSAA Victoria recognises the important role that its ranges and facilities play in the sporting and social lives of members.

The Association made changes to operating practices to ensure government COVID-19 directives were followed, while still allowing ranges to remain open for members for as long as possible.

Stage 2 restrictions, announced by the Victorian Government today, necessitate all SSAA Victoria ranges being closed for recreational and sporting use until further notice.

The Association sincerely regrets the impact this will have on members but understands the need to play its part in helping deal with this unprecedented pandemic.

SSAA Victoria wishes all members and their families the very best in these particularly challenging and uncertain times.

 

Update – 23 March

Following the recent announcements from the Victorian and Federal Governments (see attached), SSAA Victoria Eagle Park and Springvale ranges are not being forced to close, at this stage. The only exception is the air pistol shed at Springvale.

However, while both Eagle Park and Springvale will remain open there will be some process modifications as notified last week. Branch and sub-club committees are encouraged to review the available information and decide for themselves whether they continue to maintain their ranges open and to hold shoots.

We all need to take the situation seriously. While it is an inconvenience to all members and patrons to the ranges, we are endeavouring to make the best of these challenging times for everyone including the staff and volunteers who operate our facilities. The safety of our staff and volunteers is very important to SSAA Victoria. All the recommended safety practices must be adhered to ensure that we can continue to provide service to our membership and patrons in a safe manner.

For all ranges that are continuing to operate, social distancing rules must be applied. A minimum of 1.5 metres between people must be adhered to and modification to ranges must be made to ensure that we are being compliant with these regulations.

Eagle Park public range will have the following restrictions. It will reduce the main range capacity from 100 to 50 shooters plus staff.

  • Only every second bench will be allocated, to one shooter only
  • Patrons waiting to use the range will be asked to wait in the carpark if social distancing requirements can not be maintained on the firing line
  • Limited number of patrons will be allowed into the office on arrival
  • Bruno’s café will be restricted to take-away only and there can be no dinning at tables (café may be closed at operator’s discretion)

Springvale public range will have the following restrictions. It will reduce the main range capacity to 10 prone positions, 1 bench and 4 booth positions.

  • Prone positions will be separated to meet social distancing requirements
  • Only one person can be in a booth at a time
  • One-to-one instruction will be prohibited
  • Patrons waiting to use the range will be asked to wait in the carpark if social distancing requirements can not be maintained within the facility
  • Bruno’s café will be restricted to take-away only via the side window on the range (café may be closed at operator’s discretion)
  • Range 2 will be closed
  • Ranges 1, 5 and 6 will be restricted to only half capacity when bays are being used (ie every second bay only to be used)
  • Patrons waiting to use Ranges 1, 5 and 6 will be required to maintain the minimum social distancing
  • Corporate/com and try shooting programs are suspended

For all ranges across Victoria, the following activities can no longer occur as they do not allow for the required social distancing to be adhered to:

  • Direct supervision of unlicensed shooters. It includes the supervision of juniors even if by direct family.
  • NORI shoots
  • With the new restrictions applied today by the Victoria Government, all cafes, restaurants, etc. will be closed or restricted to take away service only. It includes running canteens at the ranges. Take-away facilities may continue, but patrons should not be seated around tables to consume their food or drink.

ROs will need to also ensure that they maintain the required social distancing requirements. Safety cannot be compromised.

 

SSAA Victoria Statement – (18 March)

As we enter into unprecedented times, SSAA Victoria is monitoring the advice from government organisations on COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As a community, we will need to be ready to react to professional advice or government directives. SSAA Victoria will at all times adhere to government directives and follow credible advice.

Conflicting advice from multiple sources has led to a level of misunderstanding about the virus itself and actions that organisations and individuals should take. It is therefore important that you only source your information from bona fide organisations such as the Victoria Government – Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) and the Australian Government – Health Department (AGHS). These organisations are constantly updating information for the community. We recommend that you check your facts with both of the above organisations before making decisions about your health and the activities you engage in.

One of the growing rumours that is being circulated is the state is going to be in lockdown for all businesses, schools, etc. As of yesterday (18 March 2020) this not the case, but there are a number of recommendations that the Association is adopting to minimise risk to our members and patrons that are visiting our clubs and ranges.

It is possible that a lockdown may occur, but until so advised, SSAA Victoria will maintain business as usual and provide the following services to our members and visitors.

Based on the current information, Eagle Park and Springvale will continue to operate the public ranges. Additional cleaning protocols will be implemented and the social distancing recommendation will be followed. We will be working with the managers of each range to oversee these protocols. If attendance restrictions are needed, procedures will be adjusted accordingly.

Training courses for small groups will also continue to be delivered in accordance with relevant recommendations and directives.

For those clubs that are based at either of these facilities and our regional ranges, the decision to continue to run club activities, events, etc. will be left with the relevant committees. Branches and clubs have been provided further information to enable them to comply with directives and recommendations if they wish to remain operational.

SSAA Victoria has strict protocols around staffing levels at ranges. No range can operate without an accredited range officer on duty. As many ranges are reliant on volunteer range officers, it is understandable that some may not wish to attend under the current circumstances. If ranges cannot be adequately serviced by range officers, a given range may need to be closed, or services reduced, to ensure safety can be maintained.

This is a constantly changing situation. SSAA Victoria will continue to distribute information as it is made available. Clubs and branches have been requested to notify the State Office of any closures or changes to normal operations so that information can be passed on.

Please check our website and/or Facebook page for range opening times and other updates as they occur.

For more information: