David Feeney, Shadow Justice Minister
Electorate: Batman, Victoria
Australian Labor recognises the work undertaken by the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) for recreational shooters, farmers and hunters. Labor understands that the majority of firearm owners comply with the relevant legislation and acknowledges the work of the various firearms organisations in promoting the safe use and storage of firearms.
As many of you would be aware, issues relating to the prevention, detection and prosecution of crime are, for the most part, the responsibility of state and territory governments. The various categories of firearms were agreed by all Australian jurisdictions at a special meeting of the Australasian Police Ministers’ Council in May 1996 (the 1996 National Firearms Agreement). The categories are reflected in both Commonwealth legislation that regulates firearm imports Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and state and territory legislation that regulates licencing (such as the Firearms Act 1996 (Vic)). Any changes to the categories would need to be approved by all jurisdictions through the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC).
Following the recommendations of the Martin Place Siege Review, the Australian Labor Party joined with the Government in supporting a review of the National Firearms Agreement (NFA). While we await the recommendations of the outcome, it is important that we do not undermine this process. In response to a question on notice provided on January 28, 2016, the Government advised that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) would consider the update of the NFA in the first half of 2016. Labor will carefully consider the outcomes of the NFA review when they are released.
Labor believes that as gun technology is updated, it is appropriate that our laws are reviewed to ensure that they keep up with the advances in technology and don’t become outdated.
Labor understands the importance of recreational shooters, farmers and hunters having a voice and participating in consultation on firearm issues that relate to areas of the Commonwealth’s responsibility. A way to ensure this happens is by reintroducing the Commonwealth Firearms Advisory Council (CFAC), which was scrapped by the Liberal Government in 2013. Previously, the CFAC included former police firearms specialists, gun dealers and sporting shooters, representing all parts of the shooters’ community. It is important that the shooters’ community has a way to directly engage and consult with Government.
Labor is committed to a safe and fair Australia. One should not hinder the other.
Jim Chalmers, Shadow Sports Minister
Electorate: Rankin, Queensland
Australian Labor will continue to support shooting sports in Australia through government investment in high-performance sport and community participation. Participation in shooting sports helps encourage outdoor recreation, foster community connections and promote the safe and responsible use of firearms.
We will support our elite athletes and improve elite pathways to keep Australian shooters at the forefront of Olympic, Paralympic and other international sport. Success for Australians in international sport creates role models for young Australians and encourages participation in grassroots sport. Labor will strengthen Australia’s sporting systems and will ensure the Australian Institute of Sport is a world-class facility for elite athletes.
Labor will continue to support the promotion of women’s sport, including shooting sports, and efforts to increase the general profile of women’s sport in Australia.
Labor will support sport, including shooting sports, for people with disability and establishing pathways for athletes with a disability.