A blog of record

July 29, 2013

Blogs have generally had their day. These days it’s all social media.

Thus this site now operates as one of record, keeping track of the speeches and other activities of the Shooters and Fishers Party in NSW parliament.  Read it all on the MLC Watch page, good and bad, silly, dumb and perceptive.


June 2011

October 23, 2011

The new parliament has been sitting just two months since the State election. Remarkably, the Shooters and Fishers Party has had greater impact in that time than at any period since it won a seat in 1995. For the first time it can finally claim to be making a difference.  Here is a list of what it has achieved so far:

A private members bill to prohibit the declaration of any marine parks for five years, or sooner pending the outcome of a scientific review of their effectiveness. (Now enacted)

A private members bill to amend the Firearms Act, including removal of air rifles from the registration process. (Still before parliament and will not pass unamended.)

Challenged government funding of the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Environmental Defenders Office.

Convinced the government to re-gazette 142 state forests for hunting, for a period of 10 years.

Asked questions of the government relating to:

Reinstatement of a bounty on foxes

Encouraging tourism development in national parks

The effect of vegetation and biodiversity regulation on rural development

The impact on rural communities of the ban on logging red gum forests

Whether NSW Police has audited its firearms for losses

Commonwealth plans to limit bullbars

A few less commendable achievements:

It forced the government to retain the right of unions to sue employers for breaches of occupational health and safety rules.

It forced the government to exempt police and local government employees from the government’s cap on public servant salary increases.

It forced the government to abandon its plan to reduce the 60 cent/kwh feed-in tariff on solar schemes.

When you lie down with dogs …

May 8, 2011

In the first week of the new NSW parliament, in the Legislative Council, notice was given of 34 new bills. Of these, 13 were by the Christian Democratic Party. Here is a list of them:

1. To repeal the amendments made by the Adoption Amendment (Same Sex Couples) Act 2010 that enable couples of the same sex to adopt children.
2. To prohibit the advertising of alcoholic beverages and related trade marks, brand names and logos. Read the rest of this entry »

Election Assessment NSW 2011

May 2, 2011

At the NSW election on 26 March 2011, in the Legislative Council the Liberal/National coalition won 11 seats. Labor won 5, the Greens 3, Christian Democrats 1 and Shooters & Fishers Party 1.  Pauline Hanson was beaten by the Greens for the final seat.

The Christian Democrats vote was reduced by Family First, but not enough to prevent it winning a seat. Subject to Fred Nile’s future, the CDP can continue to win a seat each election. The total Christian vote, comprising CDP plus FF, rose by 8%.

With 148,000 votes (up 39% on 2007), the Shooters and Fishers Party is now also assured of a seat each election subject to performance and personnel.

The Outdoor Recreation Party, the vehicle through which the Liberal Democratic Party contested a state election for the first time, increased its vote by 42% but fell well short of the number needed to gain a seat.

Efforts by the ORP to win the votes of shooters were only marginally successful, unlike among other groups such as 4WD owners, fishers, etc where it did well. Support for the S&FP among these groups, by contrast, was only detected when they were also shooters.

The source of the additional S&FP’s votes is an interesting question. Some may have come from non-shooters due to the party’s change of name and involvement in the marine parks inquiry and river red gum issue in southern NSW.  I doubt if it was many.  In my view most came from shooters who valued Roy Smith’s private members bill. Unlike any of John Tingle’s or Robert Brown’s bills, it delivered clear benefits that were also communicated to every licensee in NSW at taxpayers expense by the Firearms Registry.

Prior to the election the S&FP was telling supporters it expected to have two members elected, giving it a total of three. Considering this would require at least 285,000 votes, two and a half times its previous vote, it was total fantasy. Nonetheless some people, including SSAA (NSW) and the NSW APA, naively repeated it.

Since the election the party has been telling supporters that the involvement of ORP, the Fishing Party and Pauline Hanson prevented it from occurring. This is also complete fantasy as it would have required at least 75% of the combined votes of these three.  Almost three-quarters of voters did not allocate preferences but assuming those who did were representative (not necessarily valid), while 75% of Fishing Party preferences went to the S&FP, only 17% of ORP preferences went to it. Hanson’s preferences weren’t distributed in the count but it’s unlikely so many of them would have gone to the S&FP either.

In 2015, when Robert Borsak will be seeking to win in his own right (he occupies the seat won by Roy Smith and has never faced an election), the S&FP vote may struggle to match the performance of this election irrespective of which other parties or candidates participate. Robert Brown’s agenda, promoting the Game Council and gaining hunting rights in national parks, has limited appeal. Indeed, the Game Council is controversial in some shooting circles. And many doubt Robert Borsak has sufficient skills as a politician to achieve anything at all.

Of course, if they could convince the NSW government to depart from the 1996 APMC agreement and revisit issues such as longarm registration, semi-automatics and large calibre pistols, that would change things considerably.  It would certainly guarantee one seat, and perhaps getting two people elected would not be impossible.

Brendon Nelson & Howard’s Gun Laws

September 2, 2009

Brendon Nelson: (from The Sun-Herald, Sydney August 30th, 2009.)

“After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, the new prime minister John Howard fronted our Liberal Party meeting. More than a few were opposed to gun control. Howard said this: “What I am about to do is contrary to everything I’ve ever believed. We are going to have to pass laws to control the lives of people who have never done anything wrong and never will. Many are our supporters. The Commonwealth is going to tell the States what to do -legislatively if necessary. But never in my 23 years in public life have I been more convinced that this is the right thing to do.”

The legacy of the unpopular Howard gun laws is more than a billion dollars wasted on crushing the guns of “people who have never done anything wrong and never will”, while leaving the criminals with theirs.  A thriving black market in stolen guns. No change in violent crime.

A million Liberal votes were lost in the following Federal election (1998) and Howard almost became a one-term PM.

Every State and Territory in 1996 had a Liberal or (in Queensland) National Party government, except NSW (Labor). At each subsequent State election the Liberals (and Nationals in Qld) were voted out. (“Many are our supporters”).

In NSW the Labor government increased its majority.

Numerous Liberal party branches closed and in NSW (and several other States) the Liberal Party switched leaders so many times and became so factionalised that they may never again win the confidence of voters.

As an ex-Liberal party supporter I recommend all shooters maintain the rage and not elect a Liberal government unless they publicly denounce Howard’s monumental mistake.

Game Council – Command and Control

June 14, 2009

A bill to amend the Game and Feral Animal Act has been introduced in NSW parliament, proposed by Robert Brown, the Shooters Party MLC who took over the seat vacated by John Tingle. Brown negotiated the original Game Bill on Tingle’s behalf and was the Game Council’s inaugural Chairman.

Several of the changes in the bill are worthwhile including the potential to open National Parks to shooters, allow game parks, and facilitate the resumption of duck hunting. But these are already found in other States. What NSW also has, that the other States don’t, is an oppressive apparatus to enforce hunting legislation. Brown’s bill expands the scope of the Game Council and takes it further down the path of controlling all hunting within NSW.   Hunters, the core of Shooters Party support and no fans of regulation, will not be pleased.

Read the rest of this entry »

Those who would deny freedom to others …

April 5, 2009

This week the NSW government introduced, passed and gazetted legislation it claims is necessary to control the activities of “outlaw motorcycle gangs”.  It was prompted by the brawl at Sydney airport in which a motorcycle gang member was murdered, and broadly based on similar SA legislation.

The government had claimed the legislation was too complex to introduce before June. Then it introduced it at such short notice that most MPs  had just a few hours to review it before voting. Yet the only ones to vote against it were the socialist Greens.  The Liberals, Nationals, Christian Democrats and both Shooters Party MLCs voted in favour.

The legislation introduces a mechanism for declaring organisations  to be criminal so that restrictions can be placed on the activities of their members.

Organisations are declared by a Supreme Court judge on application from the police. The grounds may be secret “criminal intelligence” and evidence by “victims”, and can occur without notifying the organisation. There is no right of appeal or review.  The police then apply for control orders on designated members of the organisation and the cancellation of their licences (as bookies or bouncers, handling cash at casinos, driving tow trucks, and firearms). Again, this can occur without their knowledge.  The affected individuals are then served with notice of the control orders, advising them they may not associate with each other. There is  an opportunity to appear in court after the orders have been served, with limited grounds for appeal. However, the consequences of the control order have immediate effect.

Read the rest of this entry »