March has been another busy month with more and more competition and activities on ranges, compliance shoots needing to be completed by the end of March, our RTO delivering courses and creating new ones, strong advocacy with the upcoming state election and so much more.
Our Branches and Clubs are heading into AGM season and along with our CEO Jai Rowell we have been travelling the State attending many of them, meeting with our fantastic volunteers and members. Please remember that we are a volunteer-based Association and without our hardworking volunteers we would not have a sport, facilities, or the range of activities that your Branch or Club provide every year. A big thank you to everyone.
Your committees would really appreciate your support by attending your local AGM and seeing how you can get involved. At the very least turning up to your local Branch or Club AGM allows them to remain compliant as they are required to have a certain number of members attending to ensure that they meet the minimum attendees to achieve a quorum.
NSW State Election
The NSW State election is being held on the 25th March. You may have heard us say many times that SSAA NSW advocates all year long every year not just at elections. This is extremely important to understand and has been a key ingredient coupled with our strong support of our members as to why your Association has been successful on so many fronts supporting legal firearms owners.
With that said, we continue to talk to politicians during election time and are pleased to say that we have had many discussions with the Government, Opposition, and Crossbench Parties. It is very important that we are able to have meetings with the decision makers. Whilst we will not always agree on every issue with politicians, it certainly has helped to make, for example, unintended consequences on legislation not occur and ensuring laws that attack legal firearms owners as has been witnessed in other jurisdictions from ever being introduced.
You would remember that at the last election (some four years ago) or even further back, it was practically impossible to meet with Government and Opposition on matters that are important to legal firearms owners at all. In recent times this has changed and of course not everyone supports our sport and recreation, but now SSAA NSW is recognised, is invited to many meetings and asked for opinions on important matters and is very well respected.
With less than a week to go to the state election, we have seen that legal firearms owners are not the brunt of negative attack. This is the first election in a very long time that this has been the case. A lot of work has gone into this and so much more is needed. When we are united, sensible and provide evidenced based solutions, we are generally successful and can demonstrate to decision makers that whilst it is important to be tough on criminals, that should not mean unnecessary attack or regulatory burden be placed on legal firearms owners who are enjoying their sport and recreation like anyone else.
I am pleased to say that when we reached out to the various political parties for their views on a range of matters, they responded. I encourage you to read their answers to questions in this month’s edition of What’s On.
SSAA NSW has seen a large increase in membership over the last few years and even more so in recent times. We have many more women, junior members and people of all ages and geographical areas joining. This is great for the growth of our sport, and we regularly hear of people who have joined the Association sharing positive experiences at their local range.
There is a lot of work to service our large membership and we have a small number of employees who work hard day in, day out, along with your Board who provide the strategic direction. I would like to thank the staff and Board for all their hard work all year round providing excellent service. They are just as passionate about the shooting sports as you, and I can assure you that makes a big difference.
Our online magazine is getting bigger as each month goes on and we love the fact that many more people are sending in stories or ideas for the magazine. If you would like to contribute, please be in touch with the office and they can assist.
Thank you again and I look forward to meeting at the range or out in the field.
President SSAA NSW