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Premier Must Release Advice on Weakening Tasmania's Gun Laws

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Friday, 8 February 2019

Tags: Gun Control, Justice, Community Safety, Supreme Court

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.