Christian Democrats and preferences

July 23, 2008

In the 2007 federal election the Australian Shooters Party directed its preferences in NSW straight to the Christian Democrats.

The CDP shares with the Shooters Party a dislike of Greens extremism. The Shooters Party and CDP often work together in the NSW Legislative Council to oppose Green extremism. However, the CDP is fundamentally an anti-shooter, authoritarian party. Both the two CDP MPs, Fred Nile and Gordon Moyes, are on the record as such. Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Brother Brownshirts

July 22, 2008

A couple of weeks ago the NSW Game Council issued a press release entitled  “Illegal Hunters Caught In Illawarra Blitz”, bragging that a coordinated operation by the Illawarra police and Game Council resulted in a man charged with hunting with a silenced firearm, four men charged with trespassing and a commercial guide charged with trespassing. The release said the Game Council’s chief executive officer Brian Boyle was involved in the “crackdown” and “commended the strong action taken by police.”

In May the Game Council issued a press release commending the police for prosecuting someone for hunting deer without a licence.

In an attempt to sell more game licences, the Game Council tries to appear shooter friendly. It takes stands at gun shows, advertises in shooting magazines and employs shooters as field officers. It would have you believe it is on the side of shooters.

Obviously only certain shooters.

The use of silencers is considered thoughtful in most parts of the world and trespass is the business of the property owner, not the police.  Deer are exotic to Australia and most people would consider it laughable to be prosecuted for shooting them.

Sneaking around with the police to catch people who don’t obey laws that harm nobody else is the other side of the Game Council.

What makes it worse is that the government subsidises the Game Council by about $4 million a year because only about 7,000 shooters have paid for a licence. The rest of the hunters of NSW (over 150,000 of them) are voting with their wallets.

What’s the bet a lot less than 7,000 renew their licences once it becomes known the money is being used to fund brownshirts?


MLC Performance Review

June 13, 2008

In May 2008 it was a year since Roy Smith took his seat in the upper house of NSW Parliament and two years since Robert Brown took over John Tingle’s seat. This post examines their performance over that period.

Politicians must be held to account. We pay their salaries and they spend our money. It is pointless merely being in parliament if it has no effect. We all know that politicians mostly just talk, but outcomes are what really matter; tangible changes that benefit those who voted for them, not just press releases, questions in parliament, speeches and newsletters.

Read the rest of this entry »


MLC Watch

May 4, 2008

MLC Watch is up to date.  A review of the first 12 months with two Shooters Party members of Parliament will be posted soon.


Lost without a fight

January 20, 2008

According to comments by Shooters Party MPs, the government’s determination to close Malabar as a shooting range is a fait accompli.

In an email on 30 November 2007, Robert Brown said (in bold), “The State and Federal Governments have made it plain that the issue is non-negotiable.

On 4 December Brown and Smith issued a press release demanding that the government allocate $20 million to a new range. They did not demand the decision be reversed.

In a newsletter on 18 December Robert Brown said, “We expressed The Shooters Party opposition to the move but the decision has been made – there is nothing further that can be done except get the best deal possible for those who use the range.”

The source of this supposed decision is a speech by the member for Maroubra, Michael Daley, on 30 November, just 5 days after the federal election at which Labor was elected.

Daley said, “The New South Wales Government’s position and now the Federal Government’s position is likely to be that the shooters be relocated and that the headland be handed over.”

Daley’s speech also included this sentence: “We have consulted the shooters involved and secured their agreement in the matter.

Does “likely to be” indicate “the decision has been made” or a “fait accompli” to you? And which “shooters” were consulted and agreed to the closure of Anzac?

In my opinion Daley can only have been referring to Brown and Smith. In practical terms, nobody else could have been consulted in the 5 days since the election. Certainly not SSAA Sydney branch, NSWRA or any of the other large organisations that use the range.

What Daley seems to be indicating is that Brown and Smith consented to the closure of Malabar. And that’s why they are calling it a ‘fait accompli’.

Writing about the topic on the Shooters Party forum, John Tingle said: “Yes, of course we will want to fight it, but the fight’s been over for years.”

Tingle is plain wrong. In fact, the fight was almost won just prior to the federal election when the Liberals announced the NSWRA would be granted a long term lease. Brown admitted as much in his announcement. But Tingle has long had a defeatist attitude to Malabar, in part because the NSWRA has never been a keen supporter of the party. That mentality now seems to have infected Robert Brown and Roy Smith.

Just as there was when the Liberal government wanted to close Malabar for shooting, there is a great deal that can be done to reverse the decision. Anyone who knows anything about politics knows that few political decisions are ever non-negotiable.

In particular, Brown and Smith have a pivotal vote in the Legislative Council. Without them, the Greens and Coalition could combine to defeat government legislation. But in reality they only ever vote against Labor on procedural matters. On substantive issues both Brown and Smith are obedient Labor supporters. Indeed, so reliable are they that neither Labor nor the Coalition bother to lobby them in most cases. It’s simply unnecessary.

If Brown and Smith were to notify the Government that it could no longer rely on their votes, their leverage would be quite considerable. And with Labor in government in Canberra, the message would be passed on to their federal brothers very rapidly.

We were told that with a second Shooters Party member in Parliament, shooters would be able to hold the government to account. Looks like that’s been proved wrong at the first hurdle.


More Shooters Party Hate Mail

January 7, 2008

That special someone from the Shooters Party is back to his old tricks of sending nasty anonymous letters. His latest little psychotic item arrived in mid-December, following the federal election. Click here to see: Dec 07

Looks like he doesn’t like gays or drug law reform.  Probably gives his preferences to the Christian Democrats. Oh that’s right, he did.
You’re an absolute embarrassment to decent, intelligent shooters, sicko. Keep sending them, we’ll keep putting them up here.


Malabar Saved; Who To Thank?

September 21, 2007

About three weeks ago rifle clubs received written confirmation that the Federal Government had agreed to permit shooting groups to continue to use the range at Malabar. A new licence will be entered into and, it appears, tenure is secure.

Since then I have looked for reports in the media or shooting forums. Perhaps I’ve missed them, but I have seen nothing. Very curious.

The news is enormously significant. Thousands of shooters use Malabar, not least the NSW Rifle Association which conducts the Queens competition each year. Other rifle clubs and disciplines, shotgunners and pistol shooters rely on it as well. Security of tenure will allow them to refurbish facilities knowing they will not be forced to abandon them.

The saga leading to this outcome is long and tortuous. The NSW Rifle Association virtually bankrupted itself unsuccessfully trying to have the order to vacate the range overturned in the courts. Politicians at both the federal and state level, Liberal and Labor, were lobbied. Quite a few people, John Tingle among them, declared it a lost cause.

Yet the reason for the backdown was simple pragmatism.

Being a former rubbish dump, much of the range is unsuitable for the kind of tourist development the government originally envisaged. That made it a lot less attractive to sell.

Someone also convinced the government that to close Malabar without providing an alternative venue for the Queens would be like closing Bondi Beach. The Queens requires 800 metres, which meant there was nowhere suitable in the Sydney area.

For some time it looked like the site would be handed over to the State government. If the Liberals had won the NSW election, that’s possibly what would have happened. However, the Labor government had indicated it would use it for other types of recreation than target shooting. The Federal Government was not keen to give it any help with that.

Enter John Howard’s chief political boofhead, Bill Heffernan; the guy who told Howard after Port Arthur to follow the advice of the CWA on gun laws. He may not be the brightest star in the sky, but he has enough of a political nose to see a way of winning back a few shooters votes. Knowing the Liberals/Nationals lost a lot of shooters votes due to Howard’s gun laws, and are now facing probable electoral defeat, he decided it was time for another type of pragmatism.

This is probably the first time since 1996 that shooters have won something on the basis of their political significance, certainly at the federal level.

It also means the people who deserve praise for the outcome are not the timid and ineffectual leaders of most of the various shooting organisations, but the small number of individuals who convinced Heffernan and a few others there were plenty of shooters out there with a baseball bat in their pocket just itching for the chance to use it on Howard and his henchmen. (I’m one of them, as the LDP candidate for Bennelong.)

I don’t know who they are, so I can only congratulate them anonymously. I’m simply glad that, back in 2004, I got the chance to tell Heffernan myself about what shooters thought of Howard. It sure feels good now.