Tasmanian Times

Media Release

Premier Must Release Advice on Weakening Tasmania’s Gun Laws

 Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

Premier Hodgman has failed to defend his government’s cover up of advice they allegedly received to say the Liberals’ secret firearms election policy would not breach the National Firearms Agreement. The Liberals will now have to come clean with the advice.

 

Today’s Supreme Court’s judgement confirms the public have a right to see the advice provided to the Premier from the then-Police Minister.

 

The court case, taken by Gun Control Australia, challenged the Premier’s refusal to release information under a RTI on the grounds it would be against the public interest to do so.

 

The Supreme Court confirmed what all Tasmanians know, that the Police Minister’s advice is absolutely in the public interest.  Questions about the government’s position on gun control and community safety are always in the public interest.

 

The Premier has assured all Tasmanians the then-Police Minister’s advice exists and he must now provide it to GCA.

 

The public must know the truth – on what possible grounds did the Liberals attempt to weaken the state’s gun laws?

 

The purpose of the Right to Information Act is to ensure Ministers are accountable to the people who elect them. The Liberals should be ashamed of hiding behind an identified loophole in that legislation.

 

The Greens and others in the community have raised the RTI loophole as a matter of great concern, but the Liberals have consistently refused to fix it.

 

They have now been exposed in the Supreme Court, and must remedy the situation so all information collected by government bodies on behalf of the people of Tasmania is available to them, as their rightful property.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Evelyn DeVito

    March 30, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Just a thought eagle eye. Given the state of politics in the US and the growing militarization of police forces there , county, state and federal, has the lack of gun control made America a more secure democracy?

    • Eagle eye

      March 30, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      Is the USA a democracy ? That assumption needs a thorough exploration before your question could possibly be addressed. It’s problems stem from those who really rule the place and the nasty little game of identity politics that has been let loose. The gun issue is quite likely keeping things from getting really ugly. Think MAD.

      Meanwhile the possibility of an elected polity asserting powers never intended for it by its electors is lowered whenever those electors hold the means to shoot back. Remember what Mao said about the source of power.

    • William Boeder

      March 30, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Evelyn, to add substance to your present thought, would be to ask former Tasmanian Governor, Sir William Cox, why Martin Bryant’s fate was not decided by the agency of a mandatory trial by judge and jury?

      From my memory, John Winston Howard had interjected his opinion that this legal imperative was not to be troubled by the allegations against Martin Bryant. This being in despite of Martin Bryant not having the mental capacity to conduct such a concerted clandestine guerilla operation.

      Were one to throw in the word ‘Bundena’ and direct that word to former PM Howard, perhaps he’d curl his lower lip then become angry and refuse to acknowledge the significance of that word.

      The link below is of a recent news event dated 3rd October 2017 that had revealed some level of the inefficacy and of the restricted access to meta-data by Tasmania’s Integrity Commission.

      The question is, why is this present State government so unconcerned about our TIG not having access nor cause for access to improve its inefficacy?

      https://www.news.com.au/national/tasmania/tasmanias-corruption-fighting-agency-should-be-given-better-surveillance-capabilities/news-story/0f8187c69c383fb11bea0dbd9a73caeb

  2. William Boeder

    March 28, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Lyndall and eagle eye I recently viewed a Youtube video featuring Charlton Heston, a mini autobigraphical commentary, this video also explained his powerful stand against the US government administration to have people hand in their weapons.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cbv-_9wOHw

  3. Lyndall

    March 28, 2019 at 10:27 am

    The revelations in the Al Jazeera-backed ‘How to sell a massacre: NRA’s playbook revealed’ is stunning enough, but the far broader implications for our democracy are very worrying. Thanks to this investigation we’ve been given an insight into how the gun lobby and political allies very cleverly and strategically operate and seek to influence government policy whilst misinforming the public with their warped logic.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/sell-massacre-nra-playbook-revealed-190325111828105.html

    Speaking for myself, and I assume similarly for many Australians, I was not cognisant of the real and present need to be vigilant because I assumed our strong gun laws since the Port Arthur massacre were safe and unassailable. However, having viewed only Part 1 of 2 of the investigation, and having since read more about the gun industry & gun users’ backing of political parties & campaigns In Australia, I now see that most of us have been asleep at the wheel. We’re being suckered by ambitious opportunists who know how to work the system and slowly infiltrate & influence in order to gradually implement their political agenda to weaken our gun laws.

    How to sell a massacre, Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYyX7O02yOg

    Part 2 of this investigation will air tonight. In it, Pauline Hanson is heard to question the Port Arthur massacre in terms of it being a conspiracy in order to bring about a tightening of our gun laws. “In a secretly filmed conversation, Hanson was also recorded suggesting that the official account of the Port Arthur killings might be incorrect. “An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia,” Hanson told Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter. “Those shots, they were precision shots. Check the number out … a lot of questions there.” (1)

    (1) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/australia-nation-offered-change-voting-system-cash-190327170846167.html

    With a political party leader who actually believes this, then I shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Pauline Hanson doesn’t actually have a problem with a relaxation of our gun laws. But, with her knowledge, for Pauline’s loyal chief of staff James Ashby and One Nation’s Qld leader to go over to the US to court funding from the NRA with the understanding that One Nation can control our federal government and force a weakening of our gun laws? That’s way, way over the line and tells me we all need to wake up.

    “Dickson and Ashby told Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter that they hoped to secure up to $20m from the US gun lobby, a move they believed would secure their success in the upcoming elections.
    Ashby said: “We would win potentially the balance of power if we took two seats in the lower house. And you know what? I reckon we could do that with $2m. If you had $20m, you would own the lower house and the upper house.”
    Dickson likened the balance of power to holding a gun to the head of the Australian government.
    “The thing you need to understand about the balance of power is … You know about the headlock and the 9mm to the back of the head? That’s where it sits. You know, once you say we want something, we will get it. Because without it, they won’t get any legislation through,” he said.”” (1).

    Since the Christchurch massacre we’ve seen that our PM Morrison has been completely appalled by the terrible act of mass murder; and the NZ PM Ardern has acted rapidly to strengthen NZ’s gun laws along the lines of our own. Yet, when PM Morrison or other Coalition politicians are invited to make a statement about their rejection of One Nation in principle and to ‘put them last’ on the upcoming federal how-to-vote cards, they all squib, squirm, evade, obfuscate and generally show their real priorities and lack of integrity. Votes is all they really care about; moral leadership from our Australian Government and its politicians is missing in action.

    By the way, here’s an interesting little article that describes the various tactics used by our politicians to dodge from answering questions and avoid telling the truth. You might recognise who adopts some of these:
    http://changingminds.org/techniques/questioning/dodging_question.htm

    A report by The Australia Institute released just yesterday describes how influential the gun lobby is in Australian politics: “The Australian gun lobby is as large and spends as much on political donations and campaigns, per capita, as America’s powerful NRA, a new report has found. Australia’s pro-gun groups were also mimicking the NRA’s political strategies in a “concerted and secretive” effort to undermine Australia’s strict gun laws, according to the report by progressive think tank, The Australia Institute.”(2). We even have, since 2015, a federal Parliamentary Friends of Shooters group which I believe innocently and inadvertently contributes to the cover of vested interests such as the NRA via the Australian Sporting Shooters Association and the gun industry via the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA). (One of the directors of the latter, coincidentally, is Robert Nioa who is a Qld firearms dealer and son-in-law of Bob Katter. Katter’s Australia Party has received at least $808K from SIFA).

    Of all issues, legitimate interests and causes in Australia, why does recreational gun use in particular need to have such privileged and powerful representation and influence in our Federal Parliament?

    (2) https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-27/australian-gun-lobby-as-well-organised-as-nra-report-finds/10940384

    I don’t know what the Liberal state government of Tasmania is aiming to do with Tasmania’s gun law reforms. But going by what’s been revealed lately by the Al Jazeera investigation about the One Nation seeking the NRA’s money and adopting their political tactics; The Australia Institute’s findings about the collective gun lobby’s donations to political parties; and our Prime Minister’s and Coalition politicians’ refusal to on principle put One Nation last on their how-to-vote cards, I think we all need to be very concerned about the gun lobby influence over political decisions, processes and governments’ policies in this space.

    Watch out Tasmania. Be alert and be alarmed. There are layers upon layers on the issue of guns in society, and unfortunately at the very bottom lies the vested interests of the gun industry and those who seek more power to run their own narrow-minded self-serving agendas.

    • eagle eye

      March 28, 2019 at 6:01 pm

      Lyndall, there is a flip side to the argument you make in your last paragraph, and it is exemplified by the number of nations whose descent down the slippery slope to despotism began with the removal of firearms from the general population. Gun Control Australia clearly have an objective of zero guns in public hands. What incentive would our politicians have to behave themselves in that environment, given their behavior right now? A gun free population is one that has been domesticated in the worst possible way.

      Who is funding Gun Control Australia, and what is their agenda? Given what GCA have said publicly it is only fair that they fess up as well.

      The anti gun argument is also multilayered and at the bottom is the desire for a powerless and thus totally compliant population, for the convenience of those doing the governing. Given their recent performance, can you imagine the levels their performance would sink too if we were entirely deprived of the means to seriously object to whatever insane incursion on our liberty they decided to impose down the track?

  4. William Boeder

    February 8, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you Rosalie for your efforts to hold Tasmania’s peurile State Liberal party government to account for their covert underbelly undertakings to hide their inactions, inadequacies and incompetences from the citizens of Tasmania.
    The same problems are extant over on the Australian mainland, the most effective tool employed by the pretending Liberals is their subjected control over most all of the Australian mainstream media news services. (Excepting Australia’s ABC.)

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