Shooters Party Secretary/Treasurer Bob Shaw wrote to party branches in late January, complaining that “To date we have not had a single contribution from any TSP Branch towards the Party’s Election Campaign.”
The letter asks branch secretaries to chase up members in their area for money and to assist with manning polling booths.
I don’t like his chances. What the letter ignores is the fact that most branches exist only in theory. While there are about 20 on paper, only 1 or 2 ever meet. The rest are a single individual, or a some cases a couple, who attend annual general meetings.
The campaign to get Roy Smith elected is being run entirely by the SSAA, not the Shooters Party. Apart from Smith himself, SSAA staff members Michael Gill, Adam Leto and Ali Newberry are providing virtually all the campaign work. That’s on top of the $350,000 or more in direct funding the SSAA has committed.
This is a SSAA manned and funded campaign to get a SSAA person into parliament. If it succeeds, perhaps it might happen again in another state. If it fails, it will definitely be a once only. One thing is for sure though, there’s no chance it will occur again in NSW in four years when Robert Brown is up for re-election. His idea of making game licences a genuine reason for a firearms licence has blotted his copybook with the SSAA big time. If the idea gets up it will gut the organisation.