News & Articles
Annual financials released
The annual financial report for the year ended April 30, 2015 after now available for member viewing.
To read the full report click here.
Drive radio talks about the Adler
SSAA (Vic) chief executive officer Jack Wegman appeared on ABC’s Drive show on 774 yesterday afternoon.
Program host Rafael Epstein questioned why the Adler A110 seven-shot shotgun should be available on a Category A licence.
Listen to the interview here.
August 24, 2015
Firearms owners called to sign petition
Senator David Leyonhjelm is calling for all firearms owners to sign a petition expressing their outrage over the Adler A110 shotgun ban.
The ban will expire in 12 months but Mr Leyonhjelm wants those responsible to be aware that firearms owners don’t want another “unjustified ban”. All firearm owners can sign the petition to the Australian Senate here.
Mr Leyonhjelm would like all firearms owners to contact the Justice Minister Michael Keenan at Michael.Keenan.MP@aph.gov.au and the public servant who chairs the Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group, Catherine Smith email@example.com.
August 21, 2015
Grieving mother used by scaremongering media
Media reports overnight using a victim of the Port Arthur murders as a poster child for further firearms restrictions are short-sighted and manipulative.
The Federal Government last week announced it would lift a ban on imports of the Adler A110 lever-action shotgun next year.
A report on the ABC last night and subsequent reports portray Carolyn Loughton – who lost her daughter and was injured in the Port Arthur murders – calling for a permanent ban on the Adler, and further firearms restrictions.
“Carolyn’s story is tragic; she is grieving the loss of her daughter; she is hurting and she is understandably angry, but the media has used her emotive story for the wrong reason – to gain readers,” said SSAA (Vic) chief executive officer Jack Wegman.
“We must remember that Carolyn’s daughter died in atrocious circumstances at the hands of Martin Bryant – a man with a long-standing mental disorder, a history of violence and the IQ of an 11-year-old – who was hell-bent on killing. This man would never have been able to legally own any firearm under current Australian law. Martin Bryant illegally obtained his firearms without a licence.
“Banning the Adler shotgun or further restricting licences for law-abiding firearms owners will not undo what that deranged criminal did to Carolyn and his many other traumatised victims.”
Victoria Police are the only people who can determine who legally owns a firearm and we trust them to continue to do their job well.
“Before being granted a firearms licence, a person must prove to Victoria Police they are fit and proper and have a legitimate reason to own a firearm,” Mr Wegman said. “That person must undergo safety training, testing and prove they can safely store a firearm, before they will be considered for a licence.”
Classification of firearms should reflect this fact and licensed users with registered firearms should not be unfairly penalised.
“Lever-action firearms are not the weapon of choice of criminals; they are used by sporting shooters competing in competitions and by farmers in pest eradication,” Mr Wegman said.
The membership of the SSAA (Vic) comprises 34,000 responsible shooters who use their firearms safely and ethically.
SSAA (Vic) is calling for all of its members to write to their local members and the Prime minister, urging for a common sense approach to this issue.
Get ready for the National Target Pistol Champs
The National Target Pistol Championships is less than two months away.
Springvale Pistol Club will host the event at the Springvale range, from October 9 to 11, but entries must be in by October 2.
Day one will kick off at 1pm with any .45 pistol – 900 match.
From 9am on Saturday, October 10, any rimfire pistol – 900 match, civilian pistol teams match and the distinguished revolver events will be held.
The final day, from 10am, entrants will compete in the rimfire Mayleigh match, any centrefire pistol – 900 match and M9 match (Beretta 92).
For prices and entry forms click here.
SSAA joins NFA reference group
The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (National) will have a place on the industry reference group advising the National Firearms Agreement ‘technical’ review.
The Federal Government today announced the full list of associations to be included in the group, which will provide a voice for firearms licence-holders.
Also in the reference group will be the National Firearms Dealers Association, Field and Game Australia, Shooting Australia, Shooting Industry Foundation Australia, Firearms Safety Council (Victoria) and an independent technical expert.
SSAA (Vic) will continue to work closely with National on this issue.
Firearms review win for SSAA (Vic) members
Early risers fined
Caitlin Pearson - Marketing and Communications Manager, SSAA (Vic)
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Caitlin Pearson as Marketing and Communications Manager for SSAA (Vic). If you wish to contact Caitlin you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0477 227 702
Caitlin has written a short profile:
I grew up down the road in South Oakleigh and lived with my parents and older brother. During my schooling I was an Irish dancer, dog lover and amateur cook. In my early twenties, I had a stint in rural South Australia, then got a taste for tropical life at the Top End.
My qualifications include graduating with distinction from a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), majoring in Journalism and Public Relations at Deakin University, and a Graduate Diploma of Journalism.
After completing my studies, I moved to Renmark, South Australia, to work for an independent, bi-weekly newspaper. I covered a council round, along with emergency services, health and general news, while living alone, enjoying water sports on the Murray and battling the heat and budgeting issues that come with being a cadet.
Searching for warmer weather in August 2013, I drove 3000km to set up in Cairns. Finding work as a Journalist for a News Corp community newspaper, I commuted from Cairns to Atherton, in the Tablelands, each day, to serve the community.
One of my career highlights was meeting a man called Raymond ‘Butch’ Beattie -- a one-armed, one-legged, man who went missing in the Tablelands bush for four days after a quad bike accident. I covered the story extensively and was one of the first people to talk to Butch after his rescue.
Family brought me home in mid-2014, when I went to work as an Online News Producer-Editor for News Corp’s The Weekly Times in Southbank. My role involved running the website for the agricultural newspaper and managing running its social media accounts.
I am really looking forward to joining the team at SSAA (Vic) and supporting the members. My primary role will be to review existing marketing and communications processes and implement innovative and effective strategies ensuring SSAA (Vic) has the highest professional profile.
Unsolicited Election Emails - 2015 Board Election
We regret the necessity to write to you. However, as a result of complaints received, we have been made aware that some members may have received unsolicited emails which appear to come from the SSAA (Vic).
Our email list was improperly accessed some years ago and it appears that it is still being used. SSAA (Vic) has not given permission for any email addresses to used by third parties.
The SSAA (Vic) is in no way associated with the senders of such emails, which contain misleading statements and are intended to deceive members as to the true state of affairs in the Association.
Queries or concerns can be directed to the President (Denis Moroney 0414 935 265) or Senior Vice President (Greg Moon 0414 965 788).
Tuesday 28 July 2015
Government curtailing liberties by stealth
Liberal Democrat Senator for NSW David Leyonhjelm has condemned the temporary ban on Adler lever action shotguns the Prime Minister announced on the weekend.
The Adler A110 lever action shotgun was to be imported into Australia next month, but has now been banned until a review of the National Firearms Agreement is complete.
Critics say access to so-called ‘rapid fire firearms’ should be restricted further or banned altogether. Meanwhile, firearm owners point out lever action firearms are legal under the National Firearms Agreement and have been continuously available in Australia for well over a hundred years.
"This ban was introduced without any consultation with the importer, shooting organisations or any of Australia’s 800,000 licensed firearms owners. This is an affront to liberal principles and will inevitably cost the government votes" said Senator Leyonhjelm.
"No evidence has been presented that lever action firearms pose any more risk than firearms currently available. This is simply an attack on the rights of law abiding firearms owners and is driven by fanatical gun haters.
"When I met recently with the Justice Minister, Michael Keenan, I was assured there would be no material changes to the National Firearms Agreement and that firearms owners were being regularly consulted. The plan to suspend the importation of the Adler shotgun and the lack of consultation conflicts with the assurances given to me.
"If these ill-informed changes are introduced I have no choice but to view this as a breach of faith on the part of the government".
Contact: Helen Dale 0401 033 166 Is the LDP for you?
The Shooters and Fishers Party have responded to the temporary ban on the importation of the Adler Lever Action shotgun.
Click here to read all of their comments regarding the ban by the Federal Government.
Please see email below regarding Draft Concept Plan for Plenty Gorge Park.
We are asking all Branches, Sub Clubs and Members for your input and comments on one or both of these matters. It would be appreciated if it could please send them to State Office no later than 29 July 2015 email@example.com
Once we have received your comments these will be considered when writing our submission.
We apologies for forwarding the Management Plan for Lake Boort Wildlife Reserve so late but we have had to do some background work. Lake Boort Wildlife Reserve is a duck hunting area and therefore SSAA (Vic) have an interest in the way it is managed
Parks Victoria is developing a master plan for Plenty Gorge Park, to improve visitor experiences and protect the park’s significant natural and cultural values.
Local residents, visitors and friends of the park are invited to share their thoughts and help shape this 10 year vision for the park.
In 2014, Parks Victoria asked people what they enjoy about the park to help prepare the current draft concept plan.
Now, throughout July and August 2015 the community is invited to comment on the draft concept plan, which will help inform development of the final master plan later in 2015.
Your details have been provided by Parks Victoria as a stakeholder who has some involvement with the park.
We welcome your feedback and invite you view the draft concept plan and speak with staff about the project at the following community information sessions:
Saturday 25 July 10.00am – 12.00 noon
Rivers of Yarrambat - Garden Centre entrance
28 Kurrak Rd, Yarrambat (Melway 184 C11)
Saturday 25 July 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Rivergum Village - Woolworths entrance ,Plenty Road, Mill Park (Melway 10 D1)
If you cannot attend one of these sessions or would like additional information, please:
complete the online survey
follow the project on Parks Victoria’s Facebook page
email comments to this email address (PlentyGorgePlan@parks.vic.gov.au).
Should you have any other queries, please contact myself or Andrew Shannon on (03) 8627 4650.
Project Manager – Master Planning, Visitor Experiences
T: (03) 8627 4692
Level 10, 535 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Management Plan for Lake Boort Wildlife Reserve
Parks Victoria have begun the development of a Management Plan for Lake Boort Wildlife Reserve.
We encourage members to read the attached document from Parks and participate in the development of the Management Plan.
For more information please Click Here
RECLASSIFICATION OF LEVER ACTION FIREARMS
I recently wrote to you about a push to reclassify lever action firearms from Category A/B to Category C.
As a follow up I provide a link to the Combined Firearms Council of Victoria website.
The SSAA (Vic) is a member of the CFCV and supports its initiatives.
Please visit the site and consider lending your support.
The Shooters and Fishers Party have responded to the media campaign regarding the Adler Lever Acton Shotgun. The two members of the Victorian Parliament have called for common sense from the Government regarding the reclassification of this Category A firearm. Click Here to read their response.
The Game Management Authority has issued a media release regarding illegal hunting in the Jamieson area. The people involved have lost their cars, firearms and equipment please Click Here to read the complete story.
You may be aware of recent media reports concerning the Adler A110 lever-action shotgun. Specifically, it has been reported in the press that ‘Victorian Police Minister Wade Noonan said they would argue the weapon should have the same restriction as a semiautomatic firearm. “I have spoken to the Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright about this matter. He has raised his concerns that this weapon — and others like it — are no longer appropriate for a category A classification. I share his concerns,” he said.’
The SSAA (Vic) views this as a worrying development i) for our members who may already own a lever-action shotgun, have one on order or may wish to buy one in the future; and ii) because if the government arbitrarily changes the classification of this firearm action, it may equally do so with other actions in the future.
Consequently, we urge you to write to the Police Minister, Mr Wade Noonan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Premier (email@example.com, urging them to not take any action to reclassify the lever-action firearm to Category C.
Below appears a copy of the letter sent by the SSAA (Vic).
I write to you today to express my deep concern at media reports that the Adler lever action shotgun is to be reclassified as a Category C firearm.
The SSAA (Vic) strongly opposes such a move. The lever-action shotgun is a design over 120 years old. It has been available in Australia for many, many years and certainly does not represent “new technology”.
Specifically, there has been no consultation with affected groups, such as the SSAA (Vic). No evidence-based rationale for the change has been provided and no meaningful definition of terms such as “rapid fire” has been offered. There is also an equity issue in arbitrarily reclassifying the shotgun at this time – effectively moving the goal posts. Our concern is that any reclassification is based on a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to a perceived issue promoted by the media and anti-gun groups.
It should be remembered that the Police issues firearms licences to persons considered to be fit and proper. Classification of firearms should reflect this fact and that licensed users with registered firearms should not be unfairly penalized. The membership of the SSAA (Vic) comprises responsible shooters who use their firearms safely and ethically.
If the concern is that these shotguns will fall into the hands of criminals, then the issue becomes a different one to how the responsible licensed shooter will use them. Denying A/B licence holders from possessing a lever-action firearm makes as much sense as denying standard driving licence holders from possessing sports cars because of the fear that joy-riders will steal and misuse them. Consequently, we reject any ‘lowest common denominator’ approach.
A lever-action firearm is no more of a risk than any other action of firearm in the hands of a responsible user.
All we seek is a fair go for responsible people.
Response by Jack Wegman to Chris McLennan, Senior Journalist for the ‘The Weekly Times’ on the issue of the importation of lever action shotguns
Your inquiry has been referred to me. I provide the SSAA (Vic) response below.
I have been alerted to the impending importation of a Turkish made firearm, a lever action shotgun.
I understand the importing company, NIOA, has in excess of 5000 pre-orders for the Adler A110 firearm.
Victoria Police tell me they are concerned about the introduction of so many of a "rapid fire" weapon.
Victoria has a licensing regime which ensures that only suitable persons are granted firearms licences. A firearm on its own is not the issue. The criminal user should be the concern. All licensed users have had a course of firearms safety training and been tested on their knowledge and been deemed fit and proper by police so it doesn’t matter if they own a pump or lever action firearm. Responsible users are not the issue.
Further, we don’t accept use of the term “rapid fire” because it is meaningless in this context. What is the threshold in terms of rounds per minute before a firearm is deemed “rapid fire”? Lever actions are no more “rapid” than any other non-self-loading firearm. All types of firearm actions can be operated ‘quickly’ in the hands of an experienced user.
Australian gun laws restriction pump action and semi automatic shotguns but not lever action.
It was the intent of the legislators in 1996. It is the current legislation. Nothing has changed to necessitate a restriction on lever action firearms.
I understand the excitement of so many shooters with this firearm is because it does bend the rules in a way, it has the rapidity of a pump action but is allowed under Category A licences.
We reject your assertion about bending the rules. Lever action firearms are not a new development. They have been available for well over one hundred and fifty years. It is a reliable firearms action preferred by many Australian sporting shooters over a long period of time.
Lever actions are the same as bolt action firearms in so far as the action calls for two movements – one up and down, the other backward and forward. Both can be operated at similar speeds.
It has a magazine capacity of seven plus one on the breech.
Magazine capacity is irrelevant. The law provides for a magazine capacity of up to 10 rounds.
Has this come to your attention at all?
Do you think the importation of this firearm should be restricted?
Our view is that restrictions on pump action shotguns serve no meaningful purpose. The same applies to lever action firearms.
Is it dangerous to allow weapons like this into the country?
We reject the use of the term “weapon”. Weapons are anything used to inflict bodily harm or physical damage. We use the term “sporting firearms”. These lever-action sporting firearms are no different than any other firearm and so there is no justification for not allowing their importation.
This Alert is a follow up for two important issue's affecting hunters in Victoria, the first is a article by the Game Management Authority and the close of the 2015 Duck Season. To read the article please Click Here.
The second article is a response to Mr. Hammond of the Safari Club International, by Mr. Hunt MP and relates to the importation of Lion products from Africa, members will recall that this became an issue with reports of "Canned Hunting" of Lions in some parts of Africa. To follow this issue please Click Here.
Springvale Range Closure
The main/public range at Springvale will be closed on Wednesday, June 17 for a private function to be held by the Deerstalkers Club.
All sub club activities will continue as normal.
The recently held SSAA Shot Expo held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds on 23-24 May was a huge success with in excess of 14,000 people attending the event. I full wrap of the event will be in the next issue of VIC and Australian Shooters. A big thank you must be given to all the sub-clubs and volunteers that worked tirelessly throughout the weekend. Their efforts and professionalism contributed significantly to the success of the Expo.
Range Facility Manager – Springvale
Sporting Shooters Association Australia (Victoria)
Deer Hunting Incident
The SSAA (Vic) has commented on the recent incident to a Deer Hunter in the Victorian Alps.
Please Click Here for a report by our Operations Manager Mr Mike Spray.
Temporary Address: 55 St Andrews Place
Shooters and Fishers MP’s condemn animal cruelty
East Melbourne Vic 3002
Two men from Wangaratta have faced court and been convicted of torturing a wounded deer. Footage was taken with a mobile phone by one of the men and was used as evidence at the Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court.
Jeff Bourman ML
Eastern Victoria Region
Daniel Young MLC
Northern Victoria Region
The incident took place at Meadow Creek on July 5th last year.
Shooters and Fishers MP’s Jeff Bourman and Daniel Young stand alongside with leading shooting groups, such as Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria), Australian Deer Association Inc. and Field and Game to condemn these actions.
Both Mr Bourman and Mr Young are avid hunters. They stand firm that any hunting including hunting of deer should be done in the most humane and ethical manner.
The men have shown remorse for their actions and have admitted that they should have immediately dispatched the deer.
Their actions reflect poorly on the hunting community as a whole and this lack of respect for an animal will not be tolerated or condoned by other hunters.
Quotes attributed to Jeff Bourman MLC Eastern Victoria Region
"Torturing an injured animal is not hunting and is serious animal cruelty and needs to be dealt with to the full extent of the law"
"Events like this do not represent the vast majority of hunters who do act in an ethical way."
Quotes attributed to Daniel Young MLC Northern Victoria Region
"I have spent the majority of my life hunting to the highest ethical standards, the Shooters and Fishers will continue to promote the highest ethical practices."
Quotes attributed to Mike Spray, Operations Manager, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria)
"The Association and its members are totally appalled by the actions of these men. We put a great deal of effort and resources into educating hunters about humane, safe and ethical hunting. The actions of these two individuals should not reflect badly on the thousands of responsible and respectful hunters in the State."
Quotes attributed to Barry Howlett, Executive Officer, Australian Deer Association Inc.
"Victorian hunters understand that a large part of our social license hinges on the care we take to treat our quarry humanely"
"The actions outlined in court are abhorrent and today the hunting community stands together to condemn them"
Quotes attributed to Rod Drew, Director Policy & External Relation, Field & Game Australia Inc.
"This is the most despicable act of cruelty I have ever heard of; this behavior is not tolerated by the hunting community, where respect for quarry is a cornerstone of the hunting ethic. Any licensed hunter convicted for this type of inhumane behavior should be banned from hunting for life."
## ENDS ##
For media enquiries please contact Norman Dunn on 0429 315 885
The Greens and the RSPCA
It did not take long for the Greens in Western Australia to 'weigh in' to support the RSPCA and its anti hunting campaign. Please use the link below to read of the under handed tactics of these two groups as they continue to vilify West Australian hunters. Its a pity the RSPCA could find no photographs of Australian animals and had to resort to a photo-shopped hare from America and a Deer from Europe for their campaign.
Cattle Grazing in the Alpine National Park
The Shooters and Fishers Party representatives Jeff Bourman and Daniel Young have expressed their support for the Mountain Cattlemen and grazing within the Park to reduce the fuel for bushfires and the heritage of families who have grazed the area for long periods of time prior to the ban. To more detail on their media release Click here.
An interesting article on the two members of the Shooters and Fishers Party was published in the Sunday Age on the 3rd of May. Members can follow this link to learn more.
On a similar note and of interest to our Deer Hunters, the State Government is proposing to create the North Eastern National Park, this will impact on deer stalkers and hound hunters alike and we direct our members to the following link for more info.
Media Release - RSPCA
The RSPCA are using there influence to discredit law abiding hunters during the Western Australian election campaign in that state. They have taken out full page advertisements calling hunting 'Barbaric'. As we all know this is becoming common place with the RSPCA, who attack hunters at any opportunity. We would ask why any hunter would donate to this organisation willingly. For a response by the SSAA (Vic) Operations Manager, Mr Mike Spray Click here.
Beyond the Divide
The popular TV series on hunting is returning for Series 3, this program is on Channel 44, on Thursday nights at 9.00pm, a synopsis of Episode one is below but members can check the programming schedule for the remaining episodes by Clicking here.
Episode 1 Synopsis
Rob travels to South Australia to meet up with local hunter Morgan, to hunt Fallow Deer. It is late March and the peak of the rut, in which the fallow bucks voice with their characteristic deep grunting. During this time, with skillful stalking, the bucks can sometimes be stalked at close ranges in thick scrub, which makes for very exciting hunting.
The SSAA (Victoria) has responded in support of the statement by Shooters and Fishers Party MP's Jeff Bourman and Daniel Young, in regard to the proposal to re-classify certain firearms, (see below). The proposal by the National Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group also questions the genuine reason aspect of licence holders and the duration of Category C licences. To read the statement by SSAA (Vic) CEO Mr Jack Wegam click here.
The National Firearms and Weapons Policy Working Group have made recommendations to COAG regarding the banning of Lever and Pump action rifles and shotguns. This has met with opposition from the SSAA as well as the Shooters and Fishers Party. Read the details regarding the recommendations and the Shooters and Fishers response here.
Firearms violence inquiry an expensive witch hunt.
Taxpayers must be told how many of their dollars were spent on Senate Inquiry into firearms violence.
A 180-page report into firearms violence, which was held over three different cities and that took close to a year to research, has no major recommendations into assisting public safety....
The Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia (SSAA) has hit out at the waste in time and public money spent on the Greens' ideologically based inquiry that we suspect was nothing more than a witch hunt to further burden the lawful licensed target shooter and hunter.
"We will be issuing a Freedom of Information request tot he Federal Parliament to find out exactly what this inquiry cost the taxpayer," said SSAA National Tim Bannister.
Early on in the inquiry it became apparent that the Greens Senate Inquiry Chair Penny Wright was not interested in listening tot he evidence presented and had her preconceived prejudices against recreational shooting well and truly in place.
In fact, the majority of the Committee chastised her in the report for speaking to the media even before the Inquiry had finished and making unsubstantiated claims about firearm theft and their misuse.
"The report is astounding in that the only one of the Committee members has added their name to the Chair's recommendations. All other members have dissented and in fact make up the majority , with their own report recommending less red tape for licensed shooters and a study into the social, economic and environmental benefits of hunting across Australia," Mr Bannister said.
"While the report was a waste of resources, we are pleased that finally commonsense is prevailing and we and Australia's 800,000 licensed firearms holders are being listened to by our nation's legislators."
Blue Billed Ducks on Northern Wetlands.
We are advising all duck hunters that are intending to hunt on the wetlands around Kerang in the North of the State to be aware of protected species on the following wetlands :-
Lake Murphy is a shallow wetland with two arms that has had environmental water flows into it and yesterday a waterfowl count revealed the following protected birds on the lake 81 Blue Bill, 2 Freckle Duck and Swans in the area.
Lake Elizabeth is a deep saline lake which has also had significant environmental flows of water into it, Lake Elizabeth has 1000 Swans.
Round Lake has 240 Blue Bill duck on it.
Hunters are asked to positively identify their ducks before shooting and pay particular attention to the protected species within these wetlands, for anyone who needs to re-familiarise themselves with the characteristics of Blue Bill duck Click here
Wetland Closures for 2015 Duck Season
The Honourable Jaala Pulford Minister for Agriculture and the Honourable Lisa Neville the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water announced on the 11 March 2015 additional closures to wetlands prohibiting game hunting on them. For more details of the wetlands involved Click here
Lion Trophy import ban
Mathew Godson Special Projects Officer for SSAA National issued a response to Minster Hunt's ban on the importation of African Lion hunting trophies. Click here for his response
Hunting in Africa
The Honourable Greg Hunt has started a debate regarding the hunting of animals in Africa, this has caused some reaction to the viability and sustainability of conservation hunting within Africa and its benefits to the communities in Africa, it has also raised the issue of "Canned hunting of Lions" which is a very different type of hunting altogether, Click here for a statement from Hon Robert Borsak followed by a response from Hon Greg Hunt
Mr Greg Hunt,
Minister for the Environment
I understand that, in association with the Global March for Lions which is being held on the 13th of March 2015, that the Federal Government will be making an announcement in regards to the importation of lion hunting trophies. This matter was put onto the Australian political agenda by Jason Wood who did this at the instigation of a member of his constituency who, it would seem, misrepresented the situation to inspire a knee-jerk reaction by Jason Wood, a goal in which he, or she, was completely successful.
Fearing that this announcement will be detrimental to true and effective lion conservation, I am writing to you to ask that you ensure that the announcement, whatever it is, is truly in the interest of lion conservation and not just an attempt to pander to the animal liberationists for political gains.
If it is your intention to declare a ban on all lion hunting trophies, then you will be interfering, unnecessarily and detrimentally, in the effective conservation of African lions.
Please allow me to quote from your own website, and by that I mean the website of the Department of the Environment, which states:
“The Australian Government is committed to protecting and conserving Australian native wildlife by regulating international trade. This helps to protect targeted species against over exploitation, and Australian ecosystems against the introduction of invasive species.
The Australian Government also supports the efforts of other nations to protect their wildlife, by implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”
Several vital points can be gleaned from this wording on the website.
The first point is that the Australian Government is committed to conservation by regulating trade and by protecting against over exploitation. However the imposition of a blanket ban, with no scientific basis to support that move, does not show a commitment to conservation. Indeed, such a decision will be detrimental to already established and working lion conservation programs.
The wording on your website also states that the Australian Government supports the efforts of other nations to protect their wildlife. A blanket ban on lion hunting trophies does NOT support the conservation efforts of African nations. On the contrary, such a decision is tantamount to dictating to African nations, in a totally arrogant and destructive manner, a policy which has been shown, repeatedly, to be contrary to the basic principles of conservation and which has never, and WILL NEVER, work in Africa.
Further, the wording on your website states that the assistance to other nations will be given by implementing the decisions of CITES. However, CITES has not suggested a blanket ban on lion hunting trophies. In fact, CITES has approved the trade of legally hunted lion trophies from many African nations and for Australia to go against that decision is counter-productive and hardly qualifies as “implementing the decisions of CITES”.
I might also mention that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided, on the 27th of October 2014, to reject the claim that the African lion merited listing as an endangered species under the US Endangered Species Act. Further, the FWS concluded that “sport hunting was not found to be a threat to the species (lions) at this time”.
So CITES allows lion hunting and the trade in lion trophies and the US FWS sees no threat to lions from sport hunting - so why would Australia, with no rational or scientific reason, do otherwise? I urge you to revisit your own department’s stated mandate, in regards to the trade in wildlife, to stand by the decisions of CITES, to genuinely support African nations in their conservation efforts and to only make decisions that are scientifically supportable and that are truly beneficial to conservation.
Canned lion hunting is abhorrent to all keen hunters, myself included, but canned hunting has only ever constituted a very small percentage of lion hunts and I know that very few, if any, Australians have been involved in them. Australian hunters have a reputation, amongst African Professional Hunters and guides, as being very moral, only interested in fair-chase hunting and opposed to unethical and unsportsmanlike practices. The truth is that all true hunters, regardless of their nationality, shun those persons who offer canned hunts and the practice, which has only ever been a very small ‘blip’ on the hunting scene, is most definitely on the decline and is being weeded out by a lack of patronage by the vast majority of ethical hunters and guides. Of course, you will always find a small number of ‘rotten apples’ in every barrel but to destroy working conservation programs and penalize ethical hunters because of the sins of a very small minority is the wrong approach and completely counterproductive for lion conservation.
Why would you want to damage effective and working conservation programs simply to placate a vocal minority over an issue that is not common practice and, in fact, is already on the decline? The animal liberationists might applaud a blanket ban on lion hunting trophies now but they will turn against you on other issues, such as implementing controls and eradication programs for feral cats and foxes. They will turn against you because they are not interested in true conservation. They are only interested in saving every single, individual animal even when such measures are detrimental, even catastrophic, for real conservation programs.
What must always be kept in mind is that animal liberation is NOT conservation and, indeed, the goal of animal liberation is, ultimately, to stop ALL of man’s use, utilization and interaction with animals. This is a totally unworkable goal which is also contrary to the basic principles and mechanisms of true conservation. Indeed, animal liberation has become a huge obstacle to many effective conservation programs. It also needs to be borne in mind that animal liberationists are, in fact, in the minority; albeit a very noisy and largely ill-informed minority.
I urge you not to impose a ban on the importation of lion hunting trophies, indeed any hunting trophies, provided that such hunting is conducted under the strict rules of CITES; which is what Australia has agreed to do by being a signatory to CITES. To do otherwise, would simply be to align yourself with those people who would impose their misguided sensitivities on the rest of us, irrespective of the damage that will cause to wildlife.
In short, do you want to be counted among those who support lion conservation for the long term benefit of lions and, indeed the entire environment, or those who support animal liberation for immediate, but misplaced, self-gratification at the expense of the environment?
I ask that you respond to this letter and advise what your position will be, in regards to the importation of lion and other hunting trophies, and whether the rumours of a ban are true or not. If they are true, please outline the scientific basis for the decision to implement that ban?
Swinging Targets at Eagle Park
New specifications and criteria for the placement of swinging targets on the main firing line at Eagle Park have been introduced. Their introduction is as a result of the incident in December 2014, where a shooter was hit by a projectile thought to be a ricochet off a steel target. The specifications are based on current industry standards. For more details Click Here
Range Officer Training Update
The Board recently adopted the “SSAA (Vic) Range and Range Officer Training Policy”
The purpose of the new policy is to set out the requirements and conditions that must be met to train, qualify and maintain SSAA (Vic) core qualified Range Officer (RO) accreditation.
The objective of the policy is to ensure the safest possible operation of all live firing conducted on SSAA (Vic) ranges.
Shooting alone is permissible under the following conditions: (a) the person must have a current SSAA (Vic) RO core qualification or equivalent.
Recognition of qualification will be given to accredited RO organisations as contained in a schedule to the policy and (b) the RO must have an endorsement in writing from his/her parent club stating that it supports the RO shooting alone and/or is approved by the range manager.
Shooting maybe conducted on a SSAA (Vic) range by a non-SSAA (Vic) core-qualified RO under the following condition. Recognition will be given to non-SSAA (Vic ROs who have a current RO qualification from an accredited RO organisation as specified in a schedule to the policy, currently IPSC, PPLA and SASS. The recognition / exemption will only apply when an RO is engaged in discipline-specific activities.
Any additional RO qualifications required by the many disciplines that operate within SSAA (Vic) are the responsibility of the branch or sub-club engaged in that discipline.
The training and qualification procedure
The Operations Manager (OM) is responsible for managing the core training and qualification of SSAA (Vic) ROs. Only the training package and all related documents as approved by the OM can be used in the delivery of training.
There is to be an application process for the recruitment of RO course applicants, with the applicants needing to meet certain entry requirements as detailed in a schedule to the policy. They include but are not limited to a having current firearm licence and relevant range experience.
There will be a competency-based accreditation program which includes a course of training and formal assessment of competency.
The RO qualification will have an expiry date and will be revalidated every three-years based on the RO meeting accreditation requirements. They will include attestation to having been actively conducting live fire activity on ranges on an on-going basis and being endorsed by the ROs’ parent club and/or the range manager or OM where the RO is not attached to a parent club.
Maximum number of shooters to be supervised by a sole Range Officer.
The maximum number of shooters to be under the direct control of a single RO is 25 shooters and the maximum stint without a break of at least 30 minutes duration is to be no greater than 4 hours.
Qualifications/Experience of Range Officer Training Instructors
RO training instructors may be appointed by the OM after completing the RO instructor training package. Applicants for RO training instructors must have a minimum of five years’ experience conducting ranges and their application be endorsed by the Sub-Club or Branch.
What does the new policy mean for current ROs?
There will be no requirement for current ROs to refresh or re-qualify, however current ROs will need to revalidate once this process has been implemented.
For further information or clarification about the new policy please contact State Office.
Springvale Range 5 has been re- approved by LRD and is again opened for business.
Will be trialling opening 7 days a week from February.
Mon – Fri 5.00-9.00pm
Sat 10.00am – 6.00pm
Bruno’s Cafe will also be opening 7 days a week for a trail period starting next week.
Eagle Park 5 stand shotgun range
The five stand range is closed pending certification from Victoria Police. As soon as the range is certified we will advise of its reopening
2015 Duck season
The 2015 Victorian Duck Season has been announced.
The 2015 duck hunting season will commence on Saturday 21 March at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central zone and 7.30am in the western zone, and closes half an hour after sunset on Monday 8 June, 2015.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford today announced a full-length duck hunting season of 12 weeks with restrictions to the daily bag limit.
The daily bag limit will be 10 ducks on opening day, with a five per day bag limit for the remainder of the season.
For further details please see the media release on the Victorian Premier website http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/dry-conditions-lead-to-changes-to-2015-duck-season
Can you help?
"I need some assistance and I'm wondering if you can help me. I'm at the planning stage of building a brand new multi-million state-of-the-art firearm business with an onsite 21st century indoor shooting range in Pakenham, Victoria. Like you, our mission is to promote responsible shooting and ethical hunting, as well as embracing, promoting and support the sport. Please visit our website for more information www.southerncrossfirearms.com.au.
I'm about to submit our application for permits to the Cardina Shire Council for the firearm shop and onsite indoor shooting range, but we first need to build some awareness and support from the firearm community because as you're aware, the more support we receive from the community the more it tips those approval scales in our favour + our application is very expensive and we want to see some support before any financial commitments are made.
We have everything lined up and ready to go for our application and as mentioned, we first need support from the firearm community. I'm just wondering if there's some way we can work together to help us gain the awareness and support we need?"
Chris Moore - 0409 045 787
Southern Cross Firearms (Aust)
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714 - 716 Princes Hwy, Springvale 3171
Monday to Friday: 5pm - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: Noon - 5pm
Eagle Park Range
Gifkins Road, Little River 3211
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday: 9am - 5pm
Unit 3, 26 Ellingworth Parade, Box Hill, 3128
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Phone (03) 8892 2777
Fax (03) 8892 2700
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