The Association has been made aware of a potentially significant issue for deer hunters.
Large areas of state forest in significant deer habitat have grazing licences issued over them. Unfortunately, the issuing of some of the licences has the technical effect of that land being considered ‘private property’ under the Victorian Firearms Act 1996.
SSAA Victoria’s Hunting Development Manager, David Laird, said it meant anyone hunting on that land must technically have the permission of the licensee (considered to be the ‘landowner’ under legislation).
The issue came to light recently, when the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) requested that Game Management Authority (GMA) change the hunting access maps on its website.
GMA and DELWP disagree on the areas available to hunting and the two departments are working through their issue. “This is a ludicrous situation,” David said. “We now have two government departments unable to agree on where people can legally hunt. If the government can’t get it right, how can our members?”
SSAA Victoria supports the multiple use concept in state forests and is not opposed to cattle grazing in appropriate areas. It is working towards a resolution and will inform members when some clarity emerges.