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ON TARGET: Shooters find a friend in Brumby

Long-term governments can be a real worry. While many VEXNEWS Liberal readers would have liked John Howard’s way, just as many despaired with each passing day in government as more and more public servants populated ministerial offices, more tough decisions were squibbed and most of the talent that got Howard elected and re-elected took the private sector money and ran.

The Bracks/Brumby government in Victoria, elected in 1999, occasionally shows similar signs of running out of puff. Not the man in charge, John Brumby, he’s like the Energiser bunny in terms of his output but occasionally indulgent decisions that will please no-one outside the Latte Curtain are enough to convince us they are on their last legs.

We have even heard recent bizarre suggestions around 1 Treasury Place that the Premier needs to position himself as “Greener.” That’s apparently the latest bright idea coming from the millions of dollars worth of salaried suits in that building. If they can figure out a way for their guy to appear Greener than Colleen Hartland then – for charitable fundraising purposes – I’ll march naked some winter’s day from 1TP to Captain’s Cook Cottage, pop in for some scones at the nearby cafe and return to bow at the State Press Gallery. Not going to happen.

They had a good budget but we wonder how much voters pay attention to these set-piece political events. We suspect they pay much more attention to traffic jams on the newly configured CityLink and their train running late or being cancelled.

One announcement that didn’t get much play though reflects very favourably on them and the breadth in the government. Labor governments appealing to narrow groups of inner-city chums lose. And they deserve to lose.

So we noticed this press release and had a smile that things might not be quite so bleak for them as it sometimes appears.

For a long time, Victoria is the only state that did not have state shooting centre for sporting shooters. Do-gooders and nasty lefty bureaucrats had much to slow the progress of submissions that Victoria get one.

The state budget saw the announcement that a new state sporting centre would be built.

Much credit belongs to the very ably-represented sporting shorters and the capable Sports Minister James Merlino:

The Combined Firearms Council of Victoria has welcomed the Victorian State Government on a $12.7m announcement in the state budget to fund the development of a new multi discipline state shooting centre.

CFCV president, Bill Paterson, said the announcement reflected the legitimate need for a facility to cater for the centralised development of the shooting sports.

“This project was commenced in 2006 as part of a joint announcement with former Sports Minister, Justin Madden” he said.

The centre will be designed to help develop shooting sports at local level but also to be a platform to develop Australia’s performance internationally. The CFCV estimates the shooting sports contribute more than a quarter of a billion dollars to the Victorian economy each year.

Sports Minister James Merlino earlier said the new centre will cater for international level pistol, shotgun and rifle shooting and house indoor and outdoor ranges, skeet grounds, a gymnasium and administration and other function facilities.

The Minister’s own announcement reflects the government’s enthusiasm for the patriotic sport:

“This is probably one of the better examples across all sports of a collaborative and exhaustive approach that is set to help secure the development of the shooting sports in Victoria.”

“He said the Brumby Labor Government would provide $12.7 million for the purchase of land and the design of a new multi discipline State Shooting Centre.

The new centre will cater for international level pistol, shotgun and rifle shooting and house indoor and outdoor ranges, skeet grounds, a gymnasium and administration and other function facilities.

"From community clubs to the Olympics, shooting is a sport that attracts a large number of participants taking part in a range of disciplines,” Mr Merlino said.

"However urban growth is encroaching on Victoria’s existing facilities and those which survive are outdated and only cater for certain disciplines, restricting their ability to host events.

“The new State Shooting Centre will have superior facilities for training and coaching, and increase Victoria’s chances of attracting national and international competitions."

Somehow I can’t imagine a Premier Ted Baillieu finding them much more than a look down his toffy nose.


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    Posted by Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | ON TARGET: Shooters find a friend in Brumby -- Topsy.com | May 6, 2010, 13:26
  2. ‘Onya Andrew. Onya Mr Brumby. Wake up, Mr Baillieu

    Posted by Noel Jackson | May 7, 2010, 19:26
  3. Fair enough, but what percentage of shooters will use this facility? Not many.

    I’d much rather have them ditch some of the pointless red tape designed to discourage people from owning guns… that would be much better than an inconsequential pork barrel such as this.

    Posted by Russell Edwards | May 7, 2010, 22:01


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