Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Your proposed firearms inquiry reeks of a government in lockstep with the interests of the gun lobby, totally out of touch with Tasmanians who want strengthen gun laws and not weaken them. Why are you proposing a phony guns inquiry that has terms of reference which would breach the National Firearms Agreement?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question and reject the spurious suggestion that it contains. I do so on the basis of a very strong and ongoing commitment that we, the majority Liberal Government, will do nothing to compromise the National Firearms Agreement. That is our stated policy position. We have proven in the time that we have been here that we will not advance any legislation before the House or any policy change that will indeed do that. I reject that entirely.
I reject the assertion that what we are seeking to do is anything of that nature, other than to repeat our stated policy position; one which was similarly canvassed by the Labor Party during the election campaign, but which is conveniently forgotten now. It goes to what might be done to better support lawful firearms users and to contemplate possible legislative changes which contemporise our firearms legislation, noting the fact that since the passing of the legislation back in 1996, I think is around 14 times that the legislation has been changed.
You can strengthen and improve our firearms laws, as has happened through this parliament, as happened during our term, and during other terms of government. For once, we now have the Opposition saying that a parliamentary inquiry is some sort of bad process. It is exactly what the Greens would normally argue for: an opportunity to contribute in this sensitive area of public policy.
Dr BROAD - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I would just like to point out that we are straying into the territory of pre-empting an order of the day.
Madam SPEAKER - Thank you, Dr Broad. You are correct and the Clerk has asked me to advise the Premier to wind up.
Mr HODGMAN - I believe I have made the pertinent points. It would be the expectation of Tasmanians that in the event of such a committee being established members of this place would want to contribute to its deliberations.
Madam SPEAKER - I would like to make a clarification. I apologise. I have given the Greens a third question without giving the Liberals and Labor one more opportunity. We are pressing for time. Could we please bear that in mind?