Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
The Greens revealed your secret plans to water down our firearms laws on the eve of the 3 March election that were cooked up to woo the gun lobby vote. You tried to dampen the public outrage by assuring voters your former police minister had advised you your policy would not breach the National Firearms Agreement. This RTI shows the advice from Tasmania Police was prepared in March. Given your Government was in caretaker mode for the first three days of March, is it not the case that you did not seek advice from Tasmania Police before the election? Now that you know the truth, that your gun policies contravene the National Firearms Agreement and would make Tasmanians less safe, will you now do the right thing and officially drop them?
Madam Speaker, I again officially declare that we will do nothing to compromise the NFA. We will do nothing to weaken Tasmania's gun laws. The last thing we did with our gun laws strengthened them and there were no complaints from members opposite then.
There are a couple of bizarre assertions made during that question. First, that it was the Greens who revealed our policy. In fact, it was released 21 or 23 days before the election day. It was not done by the Greens.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. The Premier has made a misleading statement. That policy was not released before the election, other than by the Greens when we were given advanced warning of it.
Mr FERGUSON - Point of order, Madam Speaker. This mischievous point is not a point of order. The member is attempting to debate the question and she is interfering with the ability of the Premier to answer the question that has just been asked by her own colleague.
Madam SPEAKER - My ruling is that it is not a point of order.
Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am pointing to the fact that our policy was released some weeks before the date to which the Greens member referred.
Madam SPEAKER - We have got off to a very bad start this morning.
Ms O'Byrne - Yes, Madam Speaker, he really has got off to a bad start.
Mr HODGMAN - Madam Speaker, you have just made a ruling and within a second the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is again intervening.
The second bizarre thing that the member did was suggest that we would breach caretaker conventions. We will do no such thing. We will stand by our policies. We are prepared for this one, and any uncertainty about it, to be tested during the parliamentary inquiry. We will not breach the NFA. We set up that agreement. We strengthened it. We will do what we can to support those who lawfully use firearms to operate under contemporary laws. This has happened here on 14 occasions since the legislation was passed in 1996, legislation to make sure they are able to use their firearms safely, not endanger any other person. It will not be done in a way that compromises the NFA.