By Dean Mighell
I hope this edition of the Australian Shooter finds all members safe and well and looking forward to a great 2014.
The election of the Abbott Government presents the SSAA with the challenge of working with a new group of politicians as we continue to fight for improvements to our sport, lifestyle and rights of all Australian shooters. The SSAA is keen to have an open and frank dialogue with the new government and this has already begun.
I am fortunate to already know the new Environment Minister Greg Hunt through other roles in my life. I was very impressed the first time I met him in regards to his attention to detail and knowledge of his portfolio. I get the strong impression Minister Hunt is very much his own man and not the type of minister to be overly influenced by the bureaucracy.
Minister Hunt made time for me to discuss with him the establishment of the SSAA-sponsored Conservation and Wildlife Trust. This Trust is designed so that the SSAA can assist in building on the considerable wildlife protection and environmental preservation and restoration work we already do. Minister Hunt was great and gave us some more work to do, but it was clear to me that he is no enemy of legitimate and lawful shooters. We look forward to working with him in the future.
I am delighted to announce that SSAA National is undertaking a serious review in respect to our communications generally. We have 160,000 members and growing strongly every year. The Board has approved the establishment of a national Communications Committee and the development of a comprehensive communications strategy. Modern technology and methods are being embraced to ensure we communicate rapidly and effectively with members, the industry, government and key stakeholders. This is a critical step in taking the SSAA forward in 2014. The better we communicate, the stronger and more effective we will be.
This builds upon our campaign to get the biggest email database of members possible so that we can match our opponents on the latest campaigning techniques. We are also working with Simon Christie who will be familiar to many of you as the presenter and producer of 4WD TV, 4WD Pro Tips, Your 4×4 and other great television shows. Simon is a mate and a dead-keen hunter and we came up with a plan to put the SSAA message on the screen. We are proud of our sport and lifestyle, and it’s time to ramp up the message. Watch out for more updates.
Unity is strength
One of the aims of the SSAA is to work with like-minded organisations to advance our common interests and protect shooters’ rights both in Australia and internationally. I get a sense that there is a growing desire for many of Australia’s leading shooting organisations to work and campaign together, which is a great thing. I am sure the SSAA would be keen to support any moves that bring unity to shooters and strength to our cause.