Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking for him to intervene before Tasmania’s re-elected Liberal Government frees up the State’s gun laws.
Two days before the Tasmania election, the Liberals dropped a grenade – that if they won government they would amend the tough and ineffective laws to allow farmers and sporting shooters access to semi-auto rifles and shotguns.
However the Liberal Government had been in secret discussions with farming groups and the shooting lobby for six weeks prior to the election.
The glaring elephant in the room, is the bona fides of the Port Arthur massacre. The people’s court after dissecting the overwhelming evidence to the contrary has decided Martin Bryant did not shoot any person at the Broad Arrow Café – he was miles away at the time of the shooting. His mother and two other witnesses who knew Martin confirmed this fact with investigators yet none was called to give evidence to Tasmania Police.
The so-called National Firearms Agreement has no effect in law, it is only an agreement between the States because the Commonwealth cannot legislate firearms law for the States.
If any State wishes to amend their respective gun laws they can do so with impunity. When the Queensland National Party Government in 1997 said it would not enact the pre-packaged gun laws presented by the Federal Government, PM John Howard threatened to withhold Commonwealth money from the State.
The Nationals leader Rob (Bubbles) Borbidge buckled and pushed the new laws through Parliament.
Shorten, soon to be deposed by Anthony Albanese, is barking up the wrong tree, because the Tasmania Liberals can tell him to go to hell where he belongs.
Likewise Turnbull would be a fool to intervene, but in any case there is nothing he can do. Premier Will Hodgman needs all the support he can get. Cairns News urges Tasmanian readers to phone Will Hodgman and give him support over the proposed changes to the gun laws.
He should take notice because it was the gun lobby which got his government over the line.
Yesterday, after the usual pressure from the ABC, Mr Hodgman said the amendments would be put before a committee to examine the effects and if they would contravene the national agreement.