All too often, the mainstream media and certain politicians focus on the negatives surrounding our sport by linking our sporting tools to terrorism fears or criminals who use illegal firearms for malicious purposes. The SSAA accepts that there should be sensible regulation of firearms; however, firearms are a necessary tool for our sport, recreation and hunting. Our members treat firearms with respect and adhere to some basic principles, such as treating the firearm as if it is always loaded, never pointing it at a person, and ensuring it is unloaded when not in use, to keep the shooting sports safe.
Sometimes, we get caught up in the negativity and forget the positive things happening in our sport and across the Association. We still have a lot to be proud of, with many exciting new developments and ongoing projects recently coming to fruition. In my home state of Queensland, we have just finished planting 113,000 trees for a koala sanctuary on our Stewartdale property. Our story details this impressive conservation project, with SSAA Queensland just announcing plans to also build a world-class pistol range on the property.
An exciting range update out of SSAA Victoria is the resigning of the lease on the Springvale range, securing the property for our members for many more years. SSAA Victoria is also part of a successful trial program removing hog deer from national parks, while in Tasmania, our Farmer Assist program has just been launched, taking the program to operational status in four states now.