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Extraordinary Labor hypocrisy

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

The extraordinary hypocrisy of the Labor Party has been highlighted again today criticising our firearms policy despite Labor having a near-identical policy position.
Tasmanian Labor has called our policy ‘a disgrace’, even while their own policy proposing many of the exact same measures sat quietly on their website.
Labor’s policy specifically says they will take exactly the same actions they are criticising us for putting forward:

  • Move to introduce the use of infringement notices in lieu of a summons for very minor breaches of firearm storage regulations. The need for this change was highlighted in recent parliamentary debate relating to firearm storage;
  • Recognise the genuine specialist use of reloaded ammunition for competitive target shooting and the special storage and transport issues that arise. 
  • Acknowledge the submission by farmer groups, particularly the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) regarding regulatory issues encountered by farmers and others which frustrate and impede legitimate day to date use of firearms. Following the election of a Labor Government immediate action will be taken to meet and consult with the TFGA and others to address the legitimate concerns that have been highlighted.*

This is typical of Labor’s deceptive election campaign – saying one thing to one audience and the exact opposite to another.
As the TFGA President has said today “ the contention, by a number of organisations and individuals, that the changes were a watering down of national firearms laws was an exaggeration which was not supported by the facts”.
Our policy is aimed at helping agricultural producers, particularly farmers, to protect crops from browsing animals and other pests. Farmers often suffer up to 30 per cent crop losses.
Our proposal was circulated in writing to stakeholders almost a month ago and is a continuation of ongoing work to keep strong gun laws consistent with the National Firearm Agreement while making sure that farmers and professional shooters have appropriate access. In contrast, Labor’s near-identical policy has only been online for a few days.
Nothing in our proposal does anything to make it any easier for anybody who has no lawful reason to obtain a gun to get one.
A re-elected majority Liberal Government won’t do anything which is inconsistent with the National Firearms Agreement.