NFA Gets Green Light from LNP and Labor in Queensland Parliament.

NFA Gets Green Light from LNP and Labor in Queensland Parliament.
Within days of the Las Vegas Shooting Labor introduces  its Regulation changes to implement the increased restrictions of the National Firearm Agreement conspiracy. (Conspire to place impositions on the innocent)
These changes have been ready and waiting for nearly a year, waiting for Labor to use a completely un related incident to gain complicity.


Disallowance of Statutory Instrument

Mr KATTER (Mount Isa—KAP) (7.45 pm): I move—

That the Weapons Legislation (Lever Action Shotguns) Amendment Regulation 2017, subordinate legislation No. 212 of 2017, tabled in the House on 10 October 2017, be disallowed.

I expect in the debate on this motion tonight that there will be some mudslinging. What is paramount in this debate tonight and what Queenslanders expect when this House deals with the issue of firearms is that the outcomes are significant and genuinely contribute to community safety around firearms. It is paramount that whatever we do here contributes significantly to community safety and is not window-dressing, is not a political stunt and is evidence based.

Secondly, the debate cannot be emotionally driven. These are very serious issues and there are very serious expectations around this in the community. We need to keep to the facts and evidence based data. That is very important in the context of this debate. I believe that firearm owners are very much demonised in the mainstream media, particularly in metropolitan areas where there is not as much interaction and use of firearms. It is quite easy to judge and misunderstand the culture that surrounds these firearms and the people who use them when people are not used to them and do not interact with them.

The issue and reason we are debating this motion tonight is pretty simple. There has been a lot of media hype and obscure media hype around lever-action shotguns. The Labor government has decided to attack licensed firearm owners by directing this at lever-action shotguns. We have been aware for a long time that this was coming. We gave notice of the disallowance motion last night so that we could debate this tonight. We believe the regulation should be stopped.

I firmly believe that the KAP and other cross-benchers could stand beside antifirearm people in a debate on firearms and agree on a lot more than they disagree on. If people really want to address community safety and firearms then there are some meaningful things we could do. This is not one of them. This is rubbish.

I would like to go back to where this started. There was a YouTube clip of an imported lever-action shotgun. I remind members in the House that it is misleading and quite frankly a lie for people to say that this is new technology. I could have acquired one of these legally in Queensland over the last 30 years.

Some politicians down south got hold of the YouTube clip. In the context of the National Firearms Agreement people were looking for something to make an issue out of. The National Firearms Agreement is a very meaningful document which has been worked on for 20 years. People were looking for some meaningful outcomes to address safety issues. This was the firearm plucked out by Minister Keenan. He decided to make a stand on this firearm.

Most firearm owners, particularly in western and regional areas where lever-action shotguns are predominantly used, are quite bemused about this. It is such an obscure category of firearm to pick on. Everyone is quite confused about why it has attracted all the attention.

The heart of the issue is that too many people who do not know what they are talking about have jumped on the bandwagon in terms of this issue and made a political football out of it. That is why we are here tonight debating this. The real issue here is that we are failing to recognise where the real effort should be put in and instead changing a category of shotgun.

The National Firearms Agreement is a very meaningful document. The antigun lobby could come together with others and do something meaningful. Let me go through some of the things that could be done. Unfortunately these things are a bit difficult for government and costly so they have been sidelined in this debate. Instead we are talking about one obscure reference in one particular category.

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The things we could be doing include the following. We could have a permanent amnesty on firearms. We just finished an amnesty. That was a great idea. I totally in favour of it. It should be permanent.

The next thing we could do is have an instant licence verification system. At the moment we are still using an antiquated paper based system. I could have a gun licence and I could be radicalised or could have a domestic violence order against me and I would not be found out for six months. It is an antiquated paper based system that does not catch up with people. That should be digitalised so that we have an instant licence verification system. That is real safety. That is what we should be debating tonight. Unfortunately, we have a political football on our hands. There will be an illusion of public safety for the people of Queensland, which is a lie.

The next thing we should be doing is lobbying the federal government for customs to have more resources to track what is coming into the country in the post. I am sure that members who are going to engage in the debate tonight will have educated themselves by watching the Four Corners program a few months ago. It did not focus on licensed shooters or an Adler. It looked at all of the guns that come in illegally. That is where the problem is. People are bringing Glock pistols into the country by mail order. Customs are not checking 75 per cent of our mail coming into the country; only 25 per cent is being checked. I can log onto the internet tonight and order a Glock pistol to come in the post and I have a 75 per cent chance of getting it. We are told, ‘That is not a problem. We will not put any resources into that. We will not be lobbying for that. What we are going to talk about is a lever-action rifle that a small fraction of shooters use. That is the big problem. That is going to contribute to community safety.’ That is rubbish.

The next thing I would like to talk about is the way this is being used. This goes to the heart of how lever-action weapons are used. When politicians were scrambling for some meaningful evidence as to why this gun should be recategorised, they said it has a similar action to a pump action. I challenge you to go and talk to someone who uses firearms—I do not use them a lot—and say that to them and they will laugh at you. It is silly. The police in New South Wales finally came up with this idea to tell politicians that. This did not come from a study of weapons, analytically looking at what is a risk and what is not, looking at crimes and where the big risks are and pulling those firearms out. This came from media hype, from politicians trying to grandstand on the issue of firearms. It is sad that we have lowered the level of debate once again in this country. We have lowered the expectations of Queenslanders by using this as a political football and grandstanding on these issues, pretending that we are making them safer. If we want to have an argument about making Queensland safer, I am all for it—let us have it. Let us have a proper debate on meaningful action, but do not bring this rubbish into the House and say that this is going to solve the problem because it will not.

Anyone who has spent any time looking at the evidence and the data know that the problems do not come from the licensing part of the industry. That is not where the problems come from. The problems do not predominantly come from stolen weapons or licensed gun owners. They come from criminals acquiring weapons. When it comes to the tragedy in Martin Place, that shotgun was never registered in Australia and it was used by a deranged person. The licensing regime has no impact on those sorts of tragedies. If there is a reference to the tragic event in the United States tonight, if you try to pull that into this debate, shame on you because it has nothing to do with this. If you are talking about bringing into parliament changes to the categorisation of a lever-action shotgun as a response to that tragedy, that is poor government at best. We should be talking about making meaningful changes to our laws that will provide a safer environment for the community. We have a lot of common ground there with the antigun people.

Like I said, the main priorities of the firearms industry include having a permanent amnesty for people to hand in their firearms. That is what the firearms industry want. They want permanent amnesty. They also want an instant verification system. This is top of the pile of priorities for them. It is not about expanding the use of guns or including more guns in the easier-to-acquire categories. These are the priorities. The other priority is lobbying the federal government for more scrutiny by customs of items coming through the post. That is where the real change can happen.

Once again, it is very easy in parliament to pick on the licensed firearm owners. Changing the licensing regime seems like a good idea. If you follow through with this regulation tonight, it is cynical at best and misleading to say the least to the Queensland public. I think there are some really good things we can do in the Queensland parliament to increase community safety around firearm legislation. There are some good things we can work together on. If you want to throw in changes to the licensing of lever-action firearms, you are going to inflame people, you are not going to make any difference and it is not evidence based. If there is a tragedy or if there are crimes linked with this type of weapon or if

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there is new technology being brought in, fair enough. Let the umpire decide. Do not create a story once you have decided that this is going to be used as a political football. I think that is the reason why people lose faith in politicians. They want to know that there is substance behind what we do in this House.

The issue of community safety around firearms is very serious. I think there is a lot of common ground in this House on that issue, despite our different ideologies around that. There are a lot of good things that we can do. This is not one of them. This is a smokescreen. This is low-hanging fruit. I think the timing of this is appalling. It is very much reflective of the continued attitude towards licensed firearm owners in this state, trying to make out that they are the problem. They never have been. All the evidence backs that up. All of the effort that goes into licensing and increasing the licensing regime is tearing up police resources. They should be chasing criminals. I plead with the House tonight to consider the way it is going to vote. Please consider the community safety issues that should be pursued. This will not make a difference there.

I want to make one other point before I finish—that is, the grandfather clause that is offered in this regulation is inoperable. If you dig down through the detail, there have been changes made to the definition of modifications of firearms. Modifications are commonplace in the industry—people will change a stock on a rifle and do a lot of things themselves. Changing the definition of modifications has the ability to make every modified licensed firearm out there unlicensed. It has the potential to make everyone who has modified a rifle a criminal—which would be a very big proportion of firearm owners. This regulation has been poorly put together and put together with a political agenda. Members better think very carefully about how they vote on this tonight. This regulation will have some unintended consequences that will not reflect well on this parliament if it gets through.

Hon. JA TRAD (South Brisbane—ALP) (Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning) (7.59 pm): I rise in opposition to the disallowance motion put forward by members of the Katter’s Australian Party in this House. It has been more than 20 years since Australia’s tough gun laws were introduced in the wake of the tragedy at Port Arthur where 35 Australians lost their lives—the worst gun massacre in Australia’s history. In this time these laws have proven to be very effective and are often internationally acclaimed as an example of comprehensive, effective public policy making. In fact, former prime minister John Howard once said that his changes to Australia’s gun laws were his greatest achievement in office. I did not agree with John Howard on much, but on this issue and on his reflection I absolutely agree.

I was proud of Australia as a nation when we adopted these laws after the Port Arthur massacre. It was not just the right thing to do; it was the only thing to do. Protecting the integrity of these laws—and that is what we are talking about tonight—is the right thing to do and, again, it is the only thing to do, particularly after we saw the incredibly horrific massacre in Las Vegas.

The Palaszczuk government will always fight to protect our gun laws because we know that these laws are keeping Queenslanders safe. Last year at COAG all states agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at keeping Australia’s gun laws strong and contemporary. That includes reclassifying lever-action shotguns like the high-capacity Adler shotgun into a more restrictive category, which is what this amendment will do. We are acting on our obligations under the agreement reached at COAG by all jurisdictions across all party lines to respond to the changes in technology since the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement.

Let us be clear: through technological advancement these guns are able to shoot seven or more cartridges in just seven seconds. That is similar to pump-action shotguns which were banned after Port Arthur. Through our regulations these guns will be reclassified as category D firearms, the highest level of classification. While Tim Nicholls and the LNP have said that they will not vote against these regulations, by their absence of vocal support here in the chamber tonight during this debate and by looking at their firearms policy it is clear that these laws will never be safe under a Liberal National Party government. I would not be surprised if this regulation was reversed under an LNP-One Nation government in Queensland.

We know that in an effort to secure preferences from their secret coalition partners in One Nation the LNP will undercut community safety by taking an axe to internationally acclaimed gun laws. We already know that the LNP-One Nation coalition would see the automatic renewal of category H licences with just a fit and proper person test. That is their own policy. That is the policy they are out talking up in the bush, but they come in here and they do not stand in their place and defend that policy position.

Under the current laws, gun owners must reapply and, as well as showing they are a fit and proper person, they must have a genuine reason to hold a concealable handgun—not just because of

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the job they do but for a genuine reason. The LNP’s proposal would effectively give a class of people in Queensland an unfettered right to bear arms for no tangible reason. Let us be clear about that: these are rules that would apply to concealable weapons. This is the LNP’s official policy position on guns—to allow concealable weapons for no good reason.

Ms Jones interjected.

Mr Mander interjected.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Order! Members, we are not debating this across the chamber.

Ms TRAD: Twenty years on from our groundbreaking gun reforms the LNP do not even mention the National Firearms Agreement anywhere in their policy. It is not a cornerstone or a significant foundational reference for their guns policy. There is not one mention of the National Firearms Agreement. Given the chance, they will turn their back on the bipartisan, proven National Firearms Agreement to appease One Nation.

Ms Jones: Anything to do a deal with One Nation they will sign up to.

Ms TRAD: I take that interjection—anything to do a deal with One Nation. Is there nothing that Tim Nicholls, the member for Clayfield and opposition leader, will not do to try to become Premier? I stand here today to confirm that I will never grow complacent on this issue. This is an issue that I feel incredibly passionate about.

An opposition member interjected.

Ms TRAD: Everywhere. I take that interjection. I feel passionately about this everywhere I go, because community safety, gun ownership and gun control are issues for every single Australian and every single Queenslander. It is time that those opposite stop their hypocrisy and stand in their place and articulate their position. The Australian Labor Party will not let us go backwards. We will not forget the victims of Port Arthur. We will not forget the victims of the Monash University tragedy or Hoddle Street or any of the other tragic mass shootings that occurred before Australia had our strong gun laws. We realise that keeping our community safe is more important than doing deals with One Nation and Pauline Hanson.

Mr Emerson: Why don’t you say that to the CFMEU which is threatening kids tonight? What do you say about the CFMEU?

Ms TRAD: Mr Deputy Speaker, I am not taking the interjection from the member for Indooroopilly.

Mr Hart interjected.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Member for Burleigh, I have called order. You need to come to order. Member for Indooroopilly, your interjections are not being taken. Neither are yours, member for Burleigh, and neither are yours, member for Burnett.

Ms TRAD: Like a coward, the member for Indooroopilly comes in here and heckles, but will he stand in his place and make it clear to the people of Indooroopilly what he thinks about—

Mr WATTS: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to a point of order. If the Deputy Premier is going to attack us, then we are entitled to defend ourselves and it is certainly—

Ms Jones interjected.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Minister for Education, there is a point of order. The member is on his feet.

Mr WATTS: If members are going to be named by the Speaker and criticised by the Speaker, surely we are allowed to retaliate and defend ourselves to the Speaker.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! One moment, please.

Opposition members interjected.

Ms TRAD: Absolutely. I am calling you cowards because you are. Stand in your place. You want to talk big out there. Come in here and talk—

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Deputy Premier, while I am taking counsel I ask the House to remain in silence. I have taken counsel from the Clerk. There is no point of order. I also warn the opposition whip about challenging the authority of the chair.

Ms TRAD: The Labor Party will always put community safety and strong gun controls above any dirty deal with One Nation and Pauline Hanson. What the LNP are doing on this issue is reprehensible.

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They say one thing outside this chamber, but in this chamber they will not stand in their place and declare their position. I think the people of Queensland ought rightly reflect on this and come to the conclusion that these people are not fit to govern this fine state.

The member for Clayfield and the Liberal National Party will do absolutely anything for One Nation’s preferences and that is pretty clear—including coming into this chamber and remaining silent on this critical and very important issue that their colleagues at a national level and in other jurisdictions are at one on in terms of reclassifying the Adler lever-action shotgun. They will soften our gun laws and make it easier for people to carry concealable weapons. On this side of the chamber, we are not going to stand back and see our gun laws weakened in Queensland. To do that would not only put at risk the safety of Queenslanders, which is paramount; it would also undo and weaken what has been internationally acclaimed public policy in the area of gun ownership and gun control. Quite frankly, I think it is worth fighting for and I will always fight for it.

Mr DICKSON (Buderim—PHON) (8.10 pm): I am so pleased to follow the Deputy Premier and follow her bits and pieces of logic. I have not quite got through all of that yet. She spoke ad nauseam about One Nation and the great fear that the Labor Party and the LNP have, and I need to respond to those accusations that were made. I need to let the Deputy Premier know very clearly that we are not interested in making a deal with either party. She can continue to say it until she goes black and blue in the face, but again she is wrong. It is a bit like the $5.4 billion she wants to waste for the people of Queensland. She is also wrong.

Let me talk about the regulation, which is what we should be doing at the moment. The ALP will always demonise shooters. It does not matter where they are; they have a record and a consistency of doing just that. Tonight, we will find out whether or not the LNP will do that. That is a decision they will make later tonight when they vote.

This motion tonight is to do with the National Firearms Agreement, but we need to go right to the heart of what this is about. We are talking about an Adler seven-shot pump-action shotgun. Shotguns have been around for a very long time. They do not fire a great distance. Anybody who understands weapons knows that. We have what is called a 30-30. It is a lever-action weapon and it shoots a few more rounds than the seven shot. It shoots a lot further and with a lot more accuracy over a lot greater distance. If the Labor Party were concerned, they would probably ban them tomorrow, but 200,000 people in Queensland have licences and they legally own firearms.

The laws that were put in place by Prime Minister Howard a number of years ago have worked very efficiently and very effectively. We have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but the ALP have this lefty attitude about them where they want to implement silly rules. Today this is a silly rule and I will go straight to the heart of this silly rule. The silly rule relates to an issue of lawful modification. Crown law’s advice was that all modifications require a licenced armourer to do those modifications. If people do it themselves, as those 200,000 people will do, they will be breaking the law and hence be put in prison. We would need bigger prisons in Queensland to hold the 200,000 registered shooters. That is what the ALP are pushing tonight. They do not want to tell anybody that, or they just do not understand that that is part of the legislation that is going through. That information was given to me by the Shooters Union and they have crown law advice from the Queensland police on this particular issue. I urge members to dig in deep before they vote tonight.

I would like to ask the minister a question tonight. How many people have been shot or injured by an Adler seven-shot lever-action weapon? I am waiting with great anticipation to find out the number of people who have been shot or killed here in Queensland. Minister, I very much look forward to the answer to that.

Let me dig down into some of the things we need to jump into tonight. John Howard did a great job. This country has been in good hands with many good governments but I have not seen one for a little while. To ostracise these legal firearm owners in this state would be a great travesty, and that is where the Labor Party is going tonight. We all know that the Labor Party wants to ostracise gun owners. That is why the gun owners and the gun lobbyists across the state have started to erect signs. I can see many more signs going up across Queensland because these people are being victimised, and people in Queensland should not be victimised.

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning in Queensland I feel like I am living in the twilight zone. The cost of energy has gone through the roof. That did not happen by accident; it happened because bad governments let that happen. The basic thing we should do in this state is deliver services and look after the state, as we should be doing with the licenced firearm holders in this state. Tonight is a symbol about destroying democracy in the state of Queensland because that is what the Labor

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Party are leading with. I am waiting to see what the LNP do. I have a couple of quotes that have been made over a period of time.

Ms Jones interjected.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Order! Minister for Education, that was unparliamentary language. I ask you to withdraw and please do not interject. Your interjections are not being taken.

Ms Jones: I withdraw.

Mr DICKSON: Thank you for your protection, Mr Deputy Speaker. I know how rough the people in the Labor Party can get. When they cannot win by fair play, they play dirty. I heard about the unions today—

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Buderim, those comments were not necessary. I now call you back to order.

Mr DICKSON: Mr Deputy Speaker, what I heard in the news today was something about unions saying, ‘If you don’t do it our way, we’ll rape your children.’ Where did that come from? Who says that? I was disgusted to hear that. I am sure that must have come from those opposite. It is their friends. I will return to the regulation and a quote from an ABC News report relating to the Adler shotgun in Queensland.

Government members interjected.

Mr DICKSON: If you want to talk about the Labor paedophiles, we can go there too but you should save that for later. This news article is titled ‘Adler shotgun: Queensland LNP threatens to block pm’s Adler restriction’.

Honourable members interjected.

Mr DICKSON: Mr Deputy Speaker, I cannot hear. It is very difficult to hear with these people.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Members on both sides of the House, there is too much audible talk within the chamber. I am having difficulty hearing the member for Buderim. I ask you to please stop, otherwise you will need to take your conversations outside.

Mr DICKSON: Thank you for your protection, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am a shooter but I feel scared of those people over there. They are dangerous.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Buderim, you do not need to reflect on the chair. Please resume your debate.

Mr DICKSON: The ABC News published an article called ‘Adler shotgun: Queensland LNP threatens to block pm’s Adler restriction’ on 13 December 2016. It stated—

Queensland’s Opposition Leader says he does not take “riding instructions from Canberra” and could block the Prime Minister’s proposed restrictions on the Adler shotgun.

Malcolm Turnbull and state and territory leaders have agreed to put the seven-shot lever action Adler gun into the most restrictive ownership category, meaning it would only be available to professional shooters in certain conditions.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls has not ruled out blocking the restrictions, and says there has not been enough consultation with gun owners.

“We already have strong laws in Queensland that protect people and make sure only the right people can get those sorts of weapons.

“We want to understand exactly why it is that it’s thought necessary to ban it.

“We don’t think you should just ban these outright, you should understand exactly what the need for them is.”

Another article is titled “‘In danger and in the dark’: Perrett on Adler gun laws”. It states—

The LNP is under extreme political pressure to back its Gympie MP Tony Perrett in his defence of the controversial Adler lever action shotgun.

They should back him because there is nothing unlawful about these weapons. There never has been and there never will be, except under Labor’s rule, but that is what we are seeing happen here tonight.

Another article is titled ‘LNP to renew category H licences for Gympie farmers’. I thought the LNP were going to back gun owners. I am sure we will see that when the division is called later this evening. Otherwise, are the National Party dead and buried? Are they gone forever? I really hope not because they were protectors of the land, protectors of the farmer and protectors of those things we believed

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were good and honest and those things that were fought for over many wars in this country. Our ancestors fought in two world wars. They were pretty brave men and women who did a whole lot of good. You would not believe it but they used guns and they used them in defence of this country. They came home and they owned guns. I grew up on a farm where there was a gun above every door but nobody got killed and nobody got hurt. That is in the past. We have moved forward after Port Arthur and we have the most restrictive gun laws in the world here in Queensland.

Tonight is about destroying democracy in this state. As I said earlier, when there is an election coming up, it means talking about the reef and talking about firearms. The ALP do not want to talk about anything like baseload energy or people burning candles in Queensland; they talk about firearms. They do not want to talk about things that really matter. They want to talk about Safe Schools. That program has to be the worst possible program in this country, and that was brought to us by the Labor Party.

Ms JONES: I rise to a point of order. I do not know what relevance this has to the gun laws, but I ask that the member gets back to the debate that is before the House tonight.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Order! Thank you, Minister for Education.

Honourable members interjected.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: One moment, please, members of the House. Member for Buderim, before I ask you to resume your speech, I ask you to make sure that you speak to the motion at hand, please.

Mr DICKSON: I am very happy to do that. I was led astray by those in the Labor Party who want to talk about One Nation and all these different things. I will not do that because that is what they do. I will not do that.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Buderim, I have just counselled you that you need to speak to the motion. Otherwise I will ask you to sit down and we will move to the next speaker.

Mr DICKSON: Let’s go back to the demonising of gun owners in Queensland. Mr Speaker, the clock has not been restarted.

There are 200,000 gun owners in Queensland, who would love to be able to get on with their lives without having the Labor Party interfering with them on a daily basis. The Adler shotgun is not going to hurt anybody. We know what is hurting people in Queensland, and that is the Labor Party. They are interfering in shooters’ lives. There are 200,000 license owners in Queensland, hence, there are probably 200,000 families. They probably have four people in each family. That is a whole lot of votes. I hope and pray that they vote against this party that demonises shooters. We will stand up for them.

I know that after the next election there will be a balance of power; that is what the maths tells us. One Nation is not going to get into bed with either party. We will make sure that Queenslanders are put first because the two tied parties have lost their way. We will always put people before politics. These gun laws that we are debating in this House tonight are a demonstration to the people of Queensland that this parliament is getting it wrong.

Ms BOYD (Pine Rivers—ALP) (8.21 pm): I think if that is the calibre of the candidates of the One Nation Party in Queensland at the next election, we can probably all rest a bit easy. During my time in this place it has no doubt been a surprise for some to find out that I have been an advocate on behalf of the licensed shooting community. It is something that I have spoken about with my colleagues across this House and it is something about which I am passionate. In comparison with our friends in the United States, we are fortunate in Australia that gun ownership is not a political wedge issue; it is a public policy question. However, the fundamental framework is broadly agreed upon and settled. This is in large part due to the sensible approach taken on this issue by most sides in the debate over the past 20 years. It is a credit to former prime minister John Howard and his government that in response to the horrendous massacre at Port Arthur he and his ministers acted with such speed to address the issue of the future of gun ownership in a way that has dramatically reduced firearm deaths. It is a credit to the former Borbidge government that in the lead-up to a state election and in the face of community opposition, they supported this important reform through to completion.

I will not accept fringe arguments that we need guns for our national security or for personal property defence. That is the role of our professional Army and our professional police force respectively. However, we live in a free society and there are legitimate recreational and agricultural uses for firearms, so we must regulate our access to firearms accordingly to ensure that they end up in responsible hands and for legitimate reasons. It is easy to lose perspective in this debate and move to

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a position of hyperbole. I have worked hard to ensure that the licensed shooters in my community and, indeed, across Queensland have an extra voice in this place.

The politicisation of this group in our community is not positive for them and it is not conducive to good policy outcomes. It achieves nothing positive at all. One of the reasons I have been a vocal advocate on this issue is there has been unfair demonisation of licensed shooters in the media and in our political process. I have had numerous meetings with individuals, advocates and stakeholders in my community and beyond. I am disappointed that the hard-won gun reform legacy of John Howard was so carelessly abused, first by Tony Abbott and then by Malcolm Turnbull in their horsetrading with crossbench Senator David Leyonhjelm. This trading on gun laws was part of a shameful exercise to strip away workplace rights and reinstate the illegitimate Australian Building and Construction Commission. This, of course, backfired horribly on Senator Leyonhjelm when Malcolm Turnbull reconnected with his dormant climate-change-believing, leather-jacket-wearing former self and did the right thing on gun laws at long last. It was either the ghost of progressive Malcolm Turnbull or the ghost of the Howard prime ministership that haunted the Prime Minister. In any case, Senator Xenophon summed up the situation well when he stated, ‘The problem with horsetrading is sometimes you end up with a donkey or, worse still, you end up making an ass of yourself.’

To be clear, the Palaszczuk government will never support a weakening of our gun laws. Under the Palaszczuk government, Queensland will remain part of John Howard’s internationally lauded National Firearms Agreement—NFA. At the December 2016 meeting of COAG, all states and territories agreed to reclassify lever-action shotguns. At the meeting it was determined that lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of five shots or under would be categorised as category B weapons and those with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds would be categorised as category D weapons, one of the most restrictive categories. In the 20 years since the Howard reforms it must be noted that we have seen technology and weapons advancements, so we need legislation that is reflective of that. As I have said to many, including the member for Mount Isa and also Rob Nioa, someone cannot market a lever-action firearm as shooting off eight shots in eight seconds and not expect that to result in community concern.

Mr Katter interjected.

Ms BOYD: It is not new technology; I take that interjection from the member for Mount Isa. It is a rapid firearm. It can shoot off bullets at a rapid rate and there is legitimate community concern around that. The laws that we make in this place need to reflect technological advancements. While the lever technology is old, the fire rate is new.

Lever-action shotguns with a capacity of five or fewer rounds will be transferred from weapons category A to category B, and those able to hold more than five rounds will move to category D. The reclassification of low-capacity lever-action shotguns to category B will have a negligible impact on existing owners. All current owners possess a firearms licence permitting them to own either a category A or B weapon. This will enable retention of the lever-action shotgun under the conditions of their current licence after its reclassification from category A to B.

Reclassifying lever-action shotguns as category B weapons will, however, affect new acquisitions by requiring a person, for the first time, to state a ‘genuine need’ to possess it. This is not a requirement for category A weapons. Reclassifying high-capacity lever-action shotguns to category D will significantly restrict community access to them as the authority to possess a category D weapon is granted only for specific reasons, such as agricultural culling.

However, there is no intention to adversely impact the rights of law-abiding gun owners who possessed a high-capacity lever-action shotgun prior to their reclassification. That is why the Weapons Legislation (Lever Action Shotguns) Amendment Regulation 2017 includes appropriate transitional provisions to enable continued ownership rights for existing licensees. The amendment regulation will grandfather the affected weapons by adding an endorsement to the licence of registered owners. The QPS will add an endorsement to the licence of all owners of high-capacity lever-action shotguns if, immediately prior to the notification of this amendment regulation on 10 October, the shotgun’s magazine capacity recorded in the commissioner’s firearms register was more than five rounds, or is more than five rounds because of a lawful modification of the gun. The endorsement will state that they must retain possession of the shotgun even though it is a category D weapon.

The provisions will also allow for a person inheriting such a weapon to be granted a similar endorsement enabling them to possess the weapon under the conditions of a category B licence, provided that the inheritor already holds a firearms licence. Having had extensive consultation and conversations in this policy space, I absolutely understand that not all firearms owners will agree with

3058 Motion 11 Oct 2017

this decision. That said, once the changes are implemented, most weapons licence holders in Queensland will continue to be able to own lever-action shotguns, including the five-shot Adler shotgun.

I want to be very clear in this debate: this is not about demonising licensed firearm owners. All of the evidence backs in that our licensed firearm owners are doing the right thing. Very rarely, if at all, do we see crimes committed by licensed shooters with registered firearms. It is just not prevalent in our country. Our role in government is to keep the community safe, and part of that is limiting access to high-powered weapons that can, if in the wrong hands, cause the kind of devastation that we saw in Las Vegas in recent weeks. At the beginning of the Adler debate I did not see myself making a speech like this, but I am very confident that as a government we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders. We will continue to carefully balance the interests of those with a genuine need to access firearms with the safety and security of the broader community.

We are a government committed to implementing strong gun protection laws. The reclassification of the Adler lever action shotgun needs to happen to comply with the NFA. All other states and territories are making this change in order to comply with the NFA that was set down by John Howard. We need to make that change too, and ultimately we will keep Queensland safe from those who would do us harm. It is for these reasons that I cannot support the member for Mount Isa’s disallowance motion.

Mr KNUTH (Dalrymple—KAP) (8.30 pm): I fully support the disallowance motion moved by the member for Mount Isa. Madam Deputy Speaker, the Labor Party has tabled a regulation calling for tighter gun control in this House. The KAP has moved a disallowance motion to remove the regulation for tighter gun control, so the disallowance motion that we have moved in this House keeps the status quo. By moving this disallowance motion we do not add to or weaken gun control laws. Everything stays the same. The reason why everything stays the same is that John Howard introduced the toughest gun control laws in the world, so members cannot say that the disallowance motion that we have moved is badly worded or a stunt. We have basically moved this disallowance motion to maintain the status quo. Everyone, including the media and the Labor Party, has said that John Howard introduced some of the toughest gun control laws in the world, so we do not need it.

We are keeping the status quo but because we are a tight parliament, a hung parliament, we need the support of the opposition and the crossbenchers and we are hoping to receive the support of the Labor Party. Their support is vital, because if governments constantly change gun laws year in, year out we will lose the foundations that we have fought for right from the beginning. It is important that we block this motion, and I hope that we have the support of the opposition and the crossbenchers. This ABC article states—

Adler shotgun: Queensland LNP threatens to block pm’s Adler restriction

Queensland’s Opposition Leader says he does not take “riding instructions from Canberra” and could block the Prime Minister’s proposed restrictions on the Adler shotgun.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls has ruled out blocking the restrictions, and says there has not been enough consultation with gun owners.

“We already have strong laws in Queensland that protect people and make sure only the right people can get those sorts of weapons.”

These are not the Prime Minister’s tougher gun control laws: these are the member for South Brisbane’s tougher gun controls. The KAP has moved the disallowance motion to maintain the status quo. I will read you another article from the Gympie Times which says—

‘In danger and in the dark’: Perrett on Adler gun laws

The LNP is under extreme political pressure to back Gympie MP—

it is good that he is going to support us—

Tony Perrett in his defence of the controversial Adler lever action shotgun.

The Government reportedly plans to introduce new legislation to reclassify the seven-shot firearm, but will need the support of the Opposition or at least three out of five cross-benchers to pass the changes.

Katter’s Australian Party MPs, Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth say they will block the laws and need only one more cross-bench vote, or Opposition support, to succeed.

11 Oct 2017 Motion 3059

That is all we need. We need one more crossbench vote and the opposition to succeed and we will block this regulation. What will happen if we block it? It will keep the status quo of the toughest gun laws in the world. That is all it does, so that is all you are supporting. The article continues—

Although the LNP is still attempting to gauge public opinion before formulating its policy, Mr Perrett has already said the state government has no facts on which to base a reasonable decision.

“I’ve seen no evidence by any authority which supports the reclassification of the Adler.

“As a weapons licence holder, gun owner and primary producer, I support practical, evidence based gun classification.

“I support the rights of law abiding gun owners and not those who use emotional grandstanding to demonise guns and their users,” Mr Perrett told The Gympie Times.

We believe that we have Mr Perrett on our side. He does not believe in emotional grandstanding because there was a shooting in America. We do not believe that because there was a shooting over there we have to change things very quickly, because there is no evidence that shows this with regard to the Adler. There is no evidence to justify the restriction. There have been no incidents to justify the banning or restriction of the Adler. There is no evidence at all to support restrictions being placed on the Adler. This ABC article is quite good and we like it. It states—

Adler shotgun: Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie says heavy restrictions are irrational

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie has been scathing of the heavy restrictions on the Adler shotgun, saying they are not based on evidence.

She is right: there is no evidence, and you will back us, won’t you, because you have been spruiking about it. The LNP—

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Farmer): Order! Member for Dalrymple, please resume your seat for one moment. This is a passionate debate, but there is far too much conversation going on around the chamber and far too many ferocious interjections. Please allow the member to speak. I call the member for Dalrymple.

Mr KNUTH: I would like to remind everyone that this has been put into the same category as the AA15, so this is going a bit overboard. All of the reports, newspapers and everything that we have read suggest that the LNP is for law-abiding firearm owners and they are there to back them. ‘Day in, day out we’re with you.’ The article goes on to quote Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, a great woman—

“There’s no evidence to suggest that this is a rational decision based in evidence, in common sense,” she said.

“Look, I think it is incredibly disappointing that today we saw Labor and Liberal premiers turn their back on evidence based policy making.”

This is not an evidence based policy decision. Moving this disallowance motion is not a stunt: it is removing Labor’s regulation for tighter gun control. What is disappointing is that, when there is a shooting, they always target the law-abiding firearm owner who has been through police checks.

An honourable member: Demonise them.

Mr KNUTH: They demonise them, and these are members of gun clubs and primary producers. Why don’t they target the tens of thousands of illegal guns that are trafficked through this country every year? Why don’t they check the 75 per cent of parcels that come through the post into this country unchecked? These are the big issues that we should be worried about. There is no evidence to support tougher gun controls in this state. We need the support of the opposition to block this, because we are here to ensure that Queenslanders get a fair go and they are not disadvantaged by governments that bring in emotive policies, particularly close to election time. I fully support the disallowance motion moved by the KAP.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Before I call the member for Nudgee, I ask members to keep their conversations to a minimum. The volume of conversation is getting quite high and it is quite hard to hear members.

Ms LINARD (Nudgee—ALP) (8.39 pm): I rise to speak against the disallowance motion. I am no stranger to firearms. My father was a rifle champion in his youth and his family were all property owners. I grew up around firearms and I grew up with a healthy respect for the valid role they play in certain circumstances and a healthy respect for the dangers they pose. This government will never be against responsible gun ownership, but we will also never forget that the paramount principle in responsible firearms policy is to protect the community. This regulation demonstrates that commitment to protecting the community with strong gun laws while continuing to support responsible gun owners.

The National Firearms Agreement, which, as we all know, had its genesis in 1996 following the tragic events at Port Arthur, has formed the basis of successful gun control in this country for over 20 years. It has formed the basis of Queensland’s regulatory framework for the control of firearms which has indisputably served to prevent the types of tragic mass shootings observed overseas. The community—certainly my community—does not want to see this changed. Since 1996 over one million weapons nationally have been handed in and destroyed through gun buyback schemes or weapons amnesties. Nationally, mass shootings have reduced from 11 in the decade prior to 1996 to zero in the 21 years since. Evidence shows that the rate of firearms related deaths, both suicides and homicides, has also greatly reduced since 1996. These are indisputable facts.

This amendment regulation will bring the treatment of lever action shotguns, currently classified as a category A weapon, into line with other types of shotgun such as pump action or self-loading weapons. This reclassification brings Queensland into line with the 2016 COAG decision to strengthen the National Firearms Agreement. New South Wales has legislated to classify lever action shotguns, Western Australia has done it and the ACT has done likewise. It is time Queensland followed suit.

Lever action shotguns with a capacity of five or fewer rounds will be transferred from weapons category A to category B, and those able to hold more than five rounds will move to category D in respect of the potential threat they pose. The reclassification of low-capacity lever action shotguns to category B will have negligible impact on existing owners. The reclassification of lever action shotguns that hold more than five rounds to category D is warranted. High-capacity lever action shotguns do not by their nature require reloading as frequently as low-capacity shotguns. They have the potential to cause maximum harm in minimum time. Marketing for the Adler shotgun claims that the Adler A110 12-gauge lever action shotgun 20-inch model is ‘tailor made for fast and furious pig shooting … This new technology lever action shotgun is a game changer for the Australian market, and must-have’. That may not be a problem when such a powerful weapon is in the hands of a fit and proper person with a genuine reason for possessing such a firearm, but it is absolutely incumbent on any responsible government to put appropriate safeguards around such possession in the broader community interest.

I appreciate that not all firearm owners will be in agreement with this decision—some will vehemently oppose it—but it is vital that Queensland, and indeed Australia, continues to comply with the spirit of the National Firearms Agreement to keep Queenslanders safe. It is vital that we remain vigilant and committed to that decision 21 years ago to set a policy course in regard to firearms that seeks to achieve the best balance between the needs of people such as sporting shooters and primary producers who require genuine access to firearms and the interests of the broader community. The community expects it.

While I am talking about gun control, I want to talk for just a moment about category H licences and the capacity to carry a concealed handgun. To use the words of Tim Fischer, Australia’s deputy prime minister in the mid-1990s when Australia radically changed its gun laws, the suburban person with a gun in the drawer next to their bed—something, I gather, still common in the United States—has never been part of normal Australian life. Under our current laws that handy bedside gun would also be illegal, unless the bedside table was a gun safe bolted to the wall with a key kept separately and the ammunition stored elsewhere. This is what the community expects. It is certainly what the families across my electorate expect.

The Palaszczuk government will never support a weakening of our gun laws. Under the Palaszczuk government Queensland will remain part of John Howard’s world renowned National Firearms Agreement. The LNP’s election policy on firearms regulation does not, however, give this same commitment. The LNP’s proposed removal of the genuine reasons criteria for reapplications for category H licence holders to hold concealable handguns is a blatant watering down of gun laws and a deviation from the National Firearms Agreement. Under the current laws gun owners must reapply and, as well as showing that they are a fit and proper person, they must have a genuine reason to hold a concealable handgun. The LNP wants that test gone and has vowed to renew all existing category H gun licences. This is absolutely out of step with the expectations of much of the Queensland community.

The strong gun controls in this country have worked for 21 years. They are to be respected and not deviated from without extreme caution. Allowing the continued possession of a concealed handgun without, in changed circumstances, a genuine reason is appalling but predictable LNP policy, but it is a policy that I know people in my electorate will reject strongly.

As I said in my opening remarks, this government will never be against responsible gun ownership, but we will also never forget that the paramount principle in responsible firearms policy is to protect the community.

11 Oct 2017 Motion 3061

Mr MANDER (Everton—LNP) (8.45 pm): The LNP believes that the fundamental role of any government is to keep its citizens safe. As we have demonstrated to the people of Queensland time and time again, the LNP will always put community safety first. One of the ways this is achieved is by ensuring we have firearms laws that limit the possibility of the tragic events that we have recently witnessed overseas but that, at the same time, do not limit the legitimate rights of our primary producers to have appropriate tools of trade and the rights of those who enjoy shooting as a sport.

The overwhelming majority of Queenslanders support the National Firearms Agreement introduced by then prime minister John Howard in 1996. It is heartening to continue to hear members of the Labor government feting this great prime minister. For this reason the LNP cannot support tonight’s motion to disallow Labor’s new regulations because it is important that we have national consistency on weapons categories. We also believe that there are important protections that allow firearms owners who legally own lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than five rounds to apply for an exemption under the new laws.

There is another consequence to supporting this disallowance motion that the Katter’s Australian Party have failed to realise. A temporary import ban on lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than five rounds was put in place by the Commonwealth government in 2015. That ban remains in place today. That ban will only be lifted once every state and territory has moved to reclassify that weapon from category B to category D. If this disallowance motion is defeated tonight, we will be the fifth jurisdiction to do that, with three to go. Let me say again what this unintended consequence is. If this regulation is disallowed tonight, the temporary import ban will remain in place and none of these weapons will be allowed into the country for any reason. A successful disallowance motion by Katter’s Australian Party will backfire on the mover.

I acknowledge that many law-abiding firearms owners see Labor’s new regulations as an attack on their rights and an attack on their integrity. This is totally understandable when you look at Labor’s track record in this area. Law-abiding firearms owners are unfairly demonised—and we have seen it tonight once again—by left wing political parties and treated like criminals when all they try to do is the right thing and comply with the law.

It is hard for them to swallow Labor’s rationale of watering down tough laws that make it easier for organised crime gangs to get weapons yet treats them with utter contempt and disdain. It is hard for them to swallow the media reports that we see yet again today which sees the CFMEU get away with its ongoing lawlessness and treating construction workers with fear and intimidation, yet law-abiding firearm owners get demonised for trying to comply with the law and have increased red tape and regulations.

It is important to understand how we have come to this debate tonight. Last night we clearly saw the Labor Party and Katter’s Australian Party cook up a deal to create a wedge on an important community safety issue which should never be trivialised. It is not often that you see the Governor rushed to parliament on a Tuesday night to sign off on an Executive Council minute. I am sure that Queenslanders would like to know what deal was made in exchange for the events that took place last night. Last night’s political stunt was clearly choreographed, and the blame for that lies at the feet of the Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, who continues to peddle misinformation and use emotional rhetoric that the firearm community are sick and tired of. That was clear from the Deputy Premier’s comments on radio this morning on the ABC and her contribution here tonight.

There is no doubt Labor’s election platform is skewed in favour of left-wing ideological policies to help salvage the Deputy Premier’s political hide in South Brisbane rather than governing for all of Queensland. It is about fighting the Greens on issues that matter to people in South Brisbane rather than across the state. While Labor’s policies lurch to the left, Queenslanders will suffer from that skewed policy agenda that they will reject at the next state election. I would encourage Queenslanders to completely disregard the emotional rhetoric and misinformation that comes out of the mouth of the Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad. It is clear that she is deliberately scaremongering. We understand that some people in the firearm community will be disappointed with our position this evening. However, we believe that we have made a balanced decision—one that takes into account the interests of the whole state—and it will not lessen our resolve to ensure fairer gun laws for law-abiding citizens.

Ms Jones: What does that mean?

Mr MANDER: I take that interjection; I will explain it now. It is our plan to respect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners—the people who do the right thing—with a focus on getting back to basics, and that is the centre of our policy, Fairer Gun Laws. We will do this by the following: we will restore proper consultation through a properly constituted ministerial weapons advisory panel as a standing

3062 Motion 11 Oct 2017

body that will meet every three months and there will be genuine consultation, not being told what will happen as currently happens, and we will ensure that policy decisions are informed by evidence and expert advice, not misinformation and media spin. We will improve the screening processes with real-time background checks by reforming the application and compliance process so that police can ensure there is a more rigorous system with a focus on compliance, not bureaucracy. This will be done by implementing a licensed instant verification system, with the reforms to be led by the ministerial weapons advisory panel as a priority. We will increase penalties for gun crime and reinforce our approach to cracking down on criminal behaviour, not Queenslanders who are doing the right thing. We do respect the right of primary producers and landholders in this state and the fact that they need firearms as a tool of trade, and those who have had category H weapons licences for years and years and years will be grandfathered.

The current approach by the Weapons Licensing branch has provided great uncertainty and needs to change. The LNP has continued to raise examples of this issue in the media and in the parliament where law-abiding owners have had licences denied for no good reason. Unlike Labor, we will not treat law-abiding firearm owners like criminals. The LNP will continue to respect law-abiding firearm owners and ensure that their rights are protected. We cannot support this disallowance motion tonight which would put Queensland out of step with every other state on a fundamentally important community safety issue.

Hon. KJ JONES (Ashgrove—ALP) (Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games) (8.54 pm): I start by saying that clearly the member for Everton has just let the cat out of the bag. The staffers who work for the LNP have been working really hard at the moment briefing the Brisbane media that, ‘We support it. No, we’re not watering down gun laws.’ Even though very few of those opposite want to talk about it tonight, the LNP is going to vote with the government in ensuring that we have nationally consistent laws when it comes to firearms in this country. This is in stark contrast to what those opposite are saying out in the bush. We just heard the member for Everton say, ‘If we get into government we’re going to have fairer gun laws. We’re going to get back to basics. We’re going to restore public consultation for policy decisions on gun laws.’ Those opposite should come clean about the policy decisions on gun laws that they hope to introduce if they get back on this side of the House.

Ms Bates interjected.

Ms JONES: I take that interjection.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Farmer): Order! Member for Mudgeeraba, please allow the minister to speak.

Ms JONES: What I do know is that as a mother I am very happy that there are safe gun laws in Queensland. It does make me sleep better at night and I can say to my child that he lives in a state with the toughest gun laws in the country. I have had that conversation with him, and unfortunately I have had to have that conversation with him in the last couple of weeks.

Ms Bates interjected.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Mudgeeraba, I ask you to please cease your interjections.

Ms JONES: Gun laws are not a fickle thing; they are a real thing. We know that gun laws save lives. That is why tonight no-one on the Labor Party side of politics got up and demonised farmers. No-one criticised law-abiding gun owners. No-one made any of those comments whatsoever—not one of us—and none of us will because we absolutely understand that the tools of the trade for farmers do involve gun laws. We understand that. We have always understood that. That has always been Labor Party policy, and I do know that, member for Mudgeeraba. I worked for a minister who had a gun licence thank you very much.

Tonight we saw the LNP briefing the Brisbane media to say, ‘No, we’re not voting against this. That’s just crazy Jackie Trad.’ That is what those opposite have been saying, but we know what they are saying in the bush and the Katter party knows what they are saying in the bush. The LNP says that it is time to rethink the rights of farmers on gun laws. Who is saying that in Kingaroy? The member for Nanango. Andrew Cripps, the member for Hinchinbrook, said that the LNP is going to be—

… focusing on compliance not bureaucracy, by rolling out a Licensed Instant Verification System.

We know what that means: that those opposite are watering down the criteria of genuine reasons.

Mr Cripps: No, it doesn’t mean that.

11 Oct 2017 Motion 3063

Ms JONES: Yes, it does. The member for Gympie in his local paper said—

Last week we heard calls for fixes to gun laws despite the big difference between fully automatic guns and farmers using guns as a tool of the trade.

That is what they say in the bush, but they are briefing the media upstairs to the opposite effect. There is then the headline ‘Fairer gun laws with proper consultation: Millar’. Lachlan Millar, the member for Gregory, is saying that under the LNP we will get fairer gun laws with proper consultation. The member for Everton appeals to the voters in his community, but he said in his own words that they are going to set up this new weapons advisory panel to look at the policy decisions on gun laws in this state. They should come clean about what those policy decisions are going to be if they do their dirty deal with One Nation to form government.

Mr Cripps interjected.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Member for Hinchinbrook, your interjections are not being taken. Please cease.

Ms JONES: Unfortunately, we know that, when a party like the LNP does a deal with One Nation, this is exactly what we are going to see in Queensland: the watering down of laws, including gun laws, in our state because it has to pander to the ultra right wing of its own party.

Mr Cripps interjected.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Farmer): Order! Member for Hinchinbrook, if you do not cease your interjections I will warn you under standing order 253A.

Ms JONES: Those opposite say one thing in the bush and then brief the media in Brisbane with another. We know that the LNP’s policy waters down Queensland’s laws and the laws introduced by John Howard. The LNP’s policy changes the category. I know that the police minister has made this very clear in his reply to all of the letters the members opposite have been writing. They are all a bit scared of those One Nation voters. They are pandering to them in their local communities.

Mr Cripps interjected.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Member for Hinchinbrook, I warn you under standing order 253A. You understand the consequences if I need to warn you again.

Mr SEENEY: I rise to a point of order. When the previous speaker on this side of the House was speaking, government members screeched incessantly throughout his speech. I think this House deserves a consistency of ruling in terms of interjections.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Ms JONES: We know why the honourable member for Callide had to do that. They are getting called out here tonight. They know that, despite the letters they are writing to people in their communities, under the current laws gun owners must reapply as well as show that they are a fit and proper person. In addition, gun owners must be able to demonstrate a genuine reason to hold a concealable handgun. That is the law. It is consistent with what happens elsewhere in the country. The LNP has a policy saying that there will be only one test and people do not need to have a genuine reason to have a concealable weapon. As the member for Ashgrove, that concerns me. As the Minister for Education, that concerns me. As the mother of two children, that concerns me.

An opposition member interjected.

Ms JONES: What did the member say? I would like to take that interjection. Would the member like to say that again? No, I did not think so. That is what we are seeing here tonight. The LNP members are running scared. They know they are copping it in the bush. They have to pander to their One Nation mates, who are eating into their vote. But they are also scared about their vote in Brisbane, because they know that Australians want tough gun laws. We are proud of our gun laws. We know that our gun laws make a difference to safety in our country.

Tonight, the members opposite have been caught out. I know that they will vote with us, but they will go back home to their electorates and tell their mates that they do not support these laws, exactly like they have done in their letters. It is shameful. They should stand up and be honest about their true position.

Mr PERRETT (Gympie—LNP) (9.02 pm): I rise to speak in support of the motion to disallow the Weapons Legislation (Lever Action Shotguns) Amendment Regulation 2017.

Mr Minnikin interjected.

3064 Motion 11 Oct 2017

Ms JONES: I rise to a point of order. I heard that. I take offence to being called ‘crazy’.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you asking the member to withdraw?

Ms JONES: I am asking the member for Chatsworth to withdraw that comment, because it is offensive to people with mental illness.

Mr MINNIKIN: I withdraw.

Mr PERRETT: I have and always will support practical evidence based decisions about gun licencing and classification. I back data and facts against the emotional grandstanding and political point-scoring of the Labor Party any day.

This regulation is blatantly nothing more than the Labor Party playing politics. It is cloaking it in some spurious argument about being concerned about the welfare of Queenslanders by demonising law-abiding farmers, graziers and sporting shooters. The government has sat on this issue for 10 months, because it wanted nothing more than to wait for some incident, some event, to give it a chance to have a go at weapon owners. In December last year at COAG, the government made a commitment without proper consultation with Queenslanders. On issue after issue this government fails to consult those who are most affected by its decisions. It makes empty promises about embracing consultation. When it comes to gun owners, the government pays lip-service to consultation. When it comes to the way in which the government addresses gun licensing, gun ownership or gun classification, it significantly undermines the rights of law-abiding firearm owners in our state.

We have to ask: why is the government now proposing this regulation to punish our law-abiding firearm owners who do the right thing and comply with the law? Because it is no longer running a government. It is in full election mode as the Labor Party, not as the Queensland government. Of course, that means that every decision will be made and every discussion will be held with its eyes on vote chasing. The government is seeking to secure support from anti-gun activists at the expense of gun owners, because it is scrambling to shore up votes in anticipation of a state election.

The Premier and the Labor Party continually pander to inner-city zealots who use hysterical and shallow arguments to demonise gun owners and users. These zealots want to close down any activity in regional and rural Queensland. We already have effective gun control laws in Queensland that protect people and ensure that only the most responsible people can access guns. The government should be focusing its attention on criminality and noncompliance. Let me be very clear: this regulation is not about making Australia any safer, because it is criminals who access illegal firearms, not law-abiding gun owners. Jumping to conclusions based on innuendo, speculation and false comparison is plainly dishonest. Farmers use guns. Guns are a tool of trade. Farmers need guns for the safe management of their farms and properties to control feral animals. The Labor Party has treated farmers as if they are members of criminal gangs. Instead of being treated like criminals, they deserve a fair go.

Over and over again I have listened to the arguments put forward by the government—arguments that are full of emotive words, contemptible arguments that are purely blatant vote garnering. All this week we have heard the government raise issue after issue that is solely designed to play to an audience of wealthy, unproductive inner-city zealots who think the whole world revolves around their concrete enclaves. It is an audience that is obsessed with the lifestyle, the pastimes and the work practices of the workers who live outside a few square kilometres of Brisbane. It is an audience that demonises our rural and regional industries, our lifestyles and our workers.

Last year, the minister advised me that the state government body in control of weapons licensing does not even know how many weapons licence holders there are in each regional area. That means that the government is making decisions about the reclassification of weapons and weapons licences when it does not have any adequate knowledge and data on the use of weapons in Queensland. Obviously, the government is jumping to conclusions based on innuendo and speculation. I back data and facts against that any day. It means that this regulation about the reclassification of the Adler lever action shotgun has been based on reasons other than hard facts.

As I have said, I support practical evidence based decision-making regarding guns. I have seen no evidence by any authority that supports the reclassification of the Adler. There could be no other conclusion than that the government wants to make it harder for firearm owners, licensed dealers and sporting shooters.

I am committed to ensuring that we have a weapons licensing system that protects the community and respects the rights of law-abiding firearm users who try to do the right thing and comply with the law of the day. As a weapons licence holder, gun owner and primary producer, I will fight to

11 Oct 2017 Motion 3065

protect primary producers and the firearms community’s rights against the continual attacks from the Labor Party. I support the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Mr BUTCHER (Gladstone—ALP) (9.07 pm): I rise to oppose this disallowance motion on gun regulation. The Palaszczuk government will not allow our gun laws to be weakened in this state. Under the Palaszczuk government, Queensland will remain part of John Howard’s National Firearms Agreement.

The action that was taken following the Port Arthur massacre 20 years ago was the right thing to do. Our nation is safer and Queensland is safer. I will proudly put up my hand to brag about the Palaszczuk government’s refusal to weaken weapons laws in Queensland, because there is nothing more important to our government than the safety of all Queenslanders. Unlike the LNP, we will never risk the safety of Queenslanders for a cheap political grab at votes.

The Palaszczuk government will always take advice from those on the front line who have the most to lose from any weakening of our gun laws: our brave police. I know that Minister Ryan has met with many groups about this issue. To hear from the opposition that the minister has not consulted with anyone is totally wrong. As the brother of a policeman, I am seriously concerned about any relaxation in gun laws. It in the 18 years between 1979 and 1996, there were 13 fatal mass shooting incidents in Australia. These incidents resulted in a total of 104 deaths with at least another 52 people injured. With the number of serious deaths because of guns I am concerned about the safety of my brother and his colleagues when they have to turn up to any sort of altercation where a weapon is involved.

There have been no fatal mass shooting incidents in Australia since the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement and the initial gun buyback in 1996-97. In December last year at COAG every state agreed to reclassify lever action shotguns. The joint Commonwealth and New South Wales review of the Martin Place siege made a number of recommendations regarding firearms, including that the Commonwealth, states and territories should simplify the regulation of the national firearm market through an update of the technical elements of the National Firearms Agreement. The report included an acknowledgement that there had been significant technological advancement and departures from the NFA since 1996 which should be addressed in this new review, which we have done. Thirty-eight recommendations for changes to the NFA were put to the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council. The majority of the NFA recommendations were supported; however, there are five areas where Queensland legislation does not comply with the agreement.

Lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of up to five rounds will be classified as a category B weapon and those with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds will be classified as the more restrictive category D weapon in Queensland. The federal government’s ban on imported lever action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds will continue until the COAG agreement is implemented by all jurisdictions.

The minister established a firearms advisory forum and its members are working constructively with stakeholders about a range of firearm matters, including how best to implement the changes agreed by COAG. Queenslanders deserve the same protections as every other Australian. When it comes to gun laws I take advice from our police and from my brother, not from members of the crossbench. I stand for the safety of our community and for our police.

Mr MILLAR (Gregory—LNP) (9.11 pm): I rise to make a short contribution to tonight’s debate. Let me make it clear from the start that the LNP supports primary producers and their right to access firearms. We consider them a tool of the trade. Where I come from in the seat of Gregory one of the biggest issues we face at the moment is access to category H licences. Category H licences are a tool of the trade for primary producers who cover properties from 25,000 to 80,000 acres. The category H licence is something that I regard as an important tool of the trade for primary producers. It is an animal welfare issue. If there is a beast that needs to be put down it can be put down quite easily and quickly. The last thing we want to see is primary producers running around with longarms on the back of four wheelers going through grids and fences.

We have seen a hold up in the access to category H licences. People who want to renew their category H licence have been unable to renew it. A couple of weeks ago a person who has had his category H licence since 1970 received news that his category H licence will not be renewed. He has had a pistol since 1970. He uses that in the same way one would use a pair of pliers to fix a fence or a shifter to fix a pump. It is there to be used as a tool of the trade. If he sees a beast that needs to be put down or he sees some dogs who are attacking some ewes he is able to use that weapon very quickly and effectively to protect livestock on his place. He has had his category H licence for well over 30, 40

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years. He is a law-abiding person and a good member of the community. For him to be refused this licence is a real concern.

I call on the Labor government to make sure that primary producers have access to those licences because they are very important. Those primary producers feel alienated and demonised when they are refused licences they have held for a very long time. These are people who are on 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, 80,000-acre properties who travel from water point to water point, from bore to bore, from trough to trough to check water and to check on stock. They need to have access to that type of weapon.

I continue to get calls into my office with people saying, ‘I have had access to this licence for well over 40, 50 years. It was handed down by my grandfather. We are not lone cowboys.’ At one stage a former agriculture minister labelled them lone cowboys. It was absolutely insulting to those hardworking graziers to say that they were lone cowboys. They are responsible, law-abiding people. It is important to recognise that these people need to be treated fairly. I note that AgForce has come out today and expressed its concern about this being the thin end of the wedge. I will be looking at this very carefully and making sure that primary producers have access to the weapons they need to be able to carry out their day-to-day operations. They are not criminals. If the government wants to get rid of criminals or the issue of access to guns then maybe it should have a look at the watering down of bikie legislation. That is where we see access to those sorts of weapons. Primary producers are law-abiding people who are sick of being demonised. If they are not being demonised through vegetation management they are being demonised through this issue. These are the people who are putting food and on our table and fibre on our back. They are the unsung heroes of the economic renaissance we will hopefully have soon in Queensland. We have critical opportunities to access key markets in Asia, certainly with our beef industry with the growing demand for protein. For us to access that market we need to get rid of more red tape and allow primary producers to conduct their businesses the way that they need to. As the son of a primary producer, the grandson of a grazier and great grandson of a grazier I could not be more passionate about agriculture because it is something I believe in. I know members here are very passionate about it. We do not need to be demonised. We do not need to be used as political capital. When it comes to election time the same card seems to be rolled out.

Mr Power interjected.

Mr MILLAR: I will take that interjection from the member for Logan and ask why are we seeing the Deputy Premier introduce vegetation management laws that will stop people in their tracks and stop agricultural production? When was the last time high-value agricultural land was approved by the Labor government? Never! You have to approve high-value agricultural land to grow increased opportunities. We have India waiting for more chickpeas. We need to give producers the opportunity to run their businesses the way they see fit. One of the issues is access to the firearms that they need. One of the biggest issues I have in Western Queensland is access to category H licences and the continual denial of their applications given that they have had them for 30 to 40 years. It is shocking—in fact, it is depressing—when one sees this happening to law-abiding men in their seventies and eighties who have paid their taxes and played a huge part in their community. They have been involved in growing agriculture, whether it is increasing wool production or increasing beef production, and providing jobs and associated opportunities for the towns where they spend money with the local tyre fitter or the auto electrician. Agricultural production is the most important thing and to be demonised and used as political capital on these sorts of issues is wrong.

I will always stand up for agriculture and primary producers. I hope that we would all do that. I will be keeping a very close eye on this issue and making sure that primary producers have access to the weapons that they need. It is not a luxury. They are not, as a former agriculture minister said, lone cowboys. They use these firearms in the proper way. They have been taught from a very young age how to properly handle a firearm. I remember my father teaching me from a very young age how to handle a firearm. He was very strict and stringent in the way that we handled them. We have gun safes. We are law-abiding people, but we seem to get caught up in this issue all the time.

Ms FARMER (Bulimba—ALP) (9.19 pm): I wish to speak very briefly against this disallowance motion. I simply say no. We cannot in any way allow any weakening of our gun control laws. Every time we hear of a tragic event such as occurred in Las Vegas recently, we shake our heads and people all over Australia ask why US politicians are not doing something about gun control. How can they keep allowing such things to happen?

Tonight I have heard members from the other side describe people in my electorate as inner-city zealots, urban elitists and left wingers. I have even heard them called unproductive inner-city zealots. I

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have heard people talk about destroying democracy, demonising gun owners and the right to bear arms. I say to the House that those are my people and they are Queenslanders. They deserve to know that their government is in charge and that we are going to retain the strict gun laws that have made us a lighthouse all over the world. There is nothing wrong with that.

I ask people opposite to think about saying what they have said tonight to an inner-city person who has lost their child in one of those massacres. Would they call such a person a left wing zealot or an unproductive left winger? How can they defend what they have said tonight? I do not know how the LNP is going to vote, because there seems to be a little bit of difference over there. They need to tell me what is wrong with farmers having to establish a need to renew their licence once every five years. If they say that to the parent of someone killed in a massacre, I will tell them why no-one will vote for them.

Hon. A PALASZCZUK (Inala—ALP) (Premier and Minister for the Arts) (9.21 pm): My government opposes this disallowance motion because this regulation is about one issue: keeping Queenslanders safe. Whilst most Queenslanders have never fired a gun and never will, for a number of Queensland, such as graziers, it is part of their work and they are licensed to own and operate a firearm. Through this regulation we do not seek to impinge on the ability of farmers to do their jobs; rather, we seek to protect all Queenslanders from the risk of firearms being used against others.

Before the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, this country was far from immune to mass shootings. Among others, we had endured the Strathfield massacre in Sydney and the Queen Street and Hoddle Street shootings in Melbourne. Here in Queensland, months before Port Arthur, at Hillcrest in Logan a man shot dead six members of his own family before killing himself. It was a horrific example of the domestic shootings that claim so many lives and it was committed with a lever-action shotgun.

Port Arthur changed Australia. John Howard deserves enormous credit for the decision he took in the wake of that tragedy. John Howard delivered strong national firearms laws. The member for Buderim acknowledged John Howard had taken strong action, but he claims that this measure is somehow a Labor assault on primary producers. The fact is that this measure was agreed to at COAG, headed by Malcolm Turnbull and made up of state and territory leaders, Labor and Liberal. COAG agreed to strengthen the National Firearms Agreement by reclassifying lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of no greater than five rounds to category B and those with a magazine capacity of greater than five rounds to category D; and to task COAG’s Law, Crime and Community Safety Council to finalise and implement the updated NFA as soon as practicable.

My government is restricting access to high-capacity lever-action shotguns in a move that will strengthen the National Firearms Agreement for Queenslanders’ safety. Lever-action shotguns are currently classified in the least restrictive weapons category, category A. The regulation means that lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of five rounds or less, low capacity, will be reclassified as category B weapons. This will require new applicants for such weapons or licences to demonstrate a legitimate need to possess a category B lever-action shotgun. At the same time, lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds, high capacity, will become category D weapons. Access to category D lever-action shotguns will only be granted to licensed applicants with an occupational requirement, such as professional animal cullers. We want to bring the treatment of these guns into line with other types of shotguns, such as pump-action or self-loading weapons. This will not prevent primary producers from eradicating vermin, but it will ensure that all high-capacity lethal firearms can only be possessed by the very small number of people who have a legitimate reason to do so.

I was at the COAG meeting. On behalf of the people of Queensland, I agreed to strong uniform national gun laws. Queenslanders deserve the same protections as every other Australian. We do not seek to diminish the rights of the vast majority of law-abiding Queensland gun owners. We ask for their understanding of our determination to ensure that this state and this nation need never again be put at risk from the kind of events that have sadly become so common in the United States. That is why the government will be voting against this disallowance motion.

Hon. MT RYAN (Morayfield—ALP) (Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services) (9.25 pm): I oppose the disallowance motion. Australians will never forget where they were in April 1996 when 35 people were slaughtered and 23 people were injured by a lone shooter at Port Arthur. The loss of life was staggering and tragic. It followed a number of other shootings that had stunned our nation. However, thankfully, Port Arthur was the turning point. It was a proud but bittersweet moment in Australia’s history when we stood as one to say enough was enough.

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To give credit where credit is due, John Howard, a Liberal Party prime minister who was by no means popular on my side of politics, showed remarkable leadership to unite and protect this nation by forging the National Firearms Agreement. That was not an easy thing to do politically for Mr Howard or the conservative state leaders who had to sell the agreement to their rural constituencies and took much political pain as a result. We have heard Rob Borbidge, a former premier of Queensland, make that very point. However, those leaders were resolute and, as a result, the National Firearms Agreement and the legislation that the states introduced as a result stopped the mass shootings we had begun to get used to.

In the 18 years between 1979 and 1996, there were 13 fatal mass shooting incidents in Australia. Those incidents resulted in a total of 104 deaths, with at least another 52 people injured. There have been no fatal mass shooting incidents in Australia since the introduction of the National Firearms Agreement and the initial gun buyback in 1996 and 1997. I repeat: there have been no fatal mass shootings in Australia since the NFA was introduced. It was unequivocally the right thing to do. Our nation is safer and Queensland is safer. In fact, Australia’s gun laws have become the gold standard internationally, cited each time a tragedy happens in the United States.

The National Firearms Agreement placed tighter controls on firearms possession. Our Weapons Act and weapons regulations are based on the National Firearms Agreement and include the underlying principles that weapon possession and use are subordinate to the need to ensure public and individual safety and that that safety is improved by imposing strict controls on the possession of firearms. The weapons category regulation categorises those weapons in line with the National Firearms Agreement. Those categories generally had regard to the potential danger posed by the weapon, with lever-action shotguns classified as category A weapons.

In December 2014, the unthinkable happened. A lone gunman, a terrorist and mad man, held 18 people hostage in the Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. Two hostages died and three hostages and a police officer were injured. Again it was time to review our firearms laws. A report by the joint Commonwealth and New South Wales review into the Martin Place siege was considered by the Council of Australian Governments’ Law, Crime and Community Safety Council. The report included an acknowledgement that there had been significant technological advancement and departures from the National Firearms Agreement since 1996 that should be addressed. As a result, the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council agreed to implement a number of the review’s recommendations, including simplifying the regulation of the legal firearms market through an update of the technical elements of the National Firearms Agreement.

There had already been concerns articulated over the proposed importation of a large number of Adler A110 lever-action shotguns with high-capacity magazines of seven rounds or more as opposed to the more commonly available three or four round shotguns. In August 2015 the Australian government banned the importation of lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds based on concerns that their continued importation may undermine the public safety intent of the National Firearms Agreement.

The reclassification of lever-action shotguns was subsequently incorporated into the National Firearms Agreement review. Lever-action shotguns with a magazine capacity of up to five rounds will now be classified as category B weapons and those with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds will be classified as the more restricted category D weapons. On this very point, this year I met with John Howard in Sydney and discussed this matter with him. Mr Howard told me that he remains resolute about gun controls in Australia.

The Palaszczuk government will never water down our tough gun laws. In light of last week’s tragedy in Las Vegas, the debate about gun control has again been reignited around the world, and it is a debate worth having. In fact, it is a debate that must be ongoing and untainted by base political motives. This issue is too important to shy away from, particularly in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in United States modern history, with 58 dead and almost 500 people injured—mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends slaughtered by a mad lone gunman. Hundreds more maimed and thousands more had their lives changed forever.

The Queensland government has an added responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who lives and visits our state in the lead-up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year. Nothing must mar our reputation as a safe place to visit. The Palaszczuk government has always acknowledged that the vast majority of firearm owners in Queensland are decent, law-abiding citizens.

I established a firearms advisory forum to ensure they all had a voice at the table. It includes representatives from the firearms industry, the dealer network, the agricultural sector, sporting and

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recreational shooters, victims of crime groups, the police and Police Union and the Queensland Law Society. We have worked constructively with stakeholders on a range of firearm matters, including how best to implement the changes agreed by COAG. They do not all agree with all of the changes, but they are changes that must be made. Queenslanders deserve the same protections as every other Australian, as we agreed at COAG. Our community and our police need to know they are protected by the toughest firearm laws possible and that their government will stand up for them and not allow any weakening of those laws. Allowing one crack to appear in the armour we have created with our laws will weaken our entire shield. It may also lead to more and more deviations from the National Firearm Agreement and the protections that it affords.

I will not apologise and I will not, unlike the LNP, retreat under the pressure. Under the Palaszczuk government Queensland will remain part of John Howard’s National Firearms Agreement. I am surprised and wary to hear the LNP will support the Labor government on this issue. I surprised because both the LNP leader and his police spokesman have been touring Queensland’s regions in recent months saying quite the opposite. Unfortunately it appears the LNP members are saying one thing in front of the cameras here in Brisbane and another thing completely different out there in apparent fear of the threat of One Nation. Earlier today—

Mr Cripps interjected.

Mr SPEAKER: Member for Hinchinbrook, I would urge you to make your interjections relevant.

Mr RYAN: Earlier today the Leader of the Opposition said—

We support John Howard’s gun laws. We believe that they provide the appropriate level of security. We put community safety and security at the forefront of our considerations and we support those laws that were brought in in 1996 and we won’t be supporting the disallowance motion.

Yet his police spokesman, the member for Everton, has been saying something quite different to gun lobbyists. Earlier this year the member for Everton told the Shooters Union Australia that this reclassification that we are considering tonight had nothing to do with the Lindt Cafe incident and refusing to reclassify lever-action shotguns would not undermine the National Firearms Agreement. In fact, he went on to add that this particular reclassification was an attack on the integrity of Queensland shooters and their rights to have firearms.

It appears that we have a case of good cop, bad cop on the LNP side, but it is mostly bad cop. The LNP’s recently released firearms election policy goes onto further water down aspects of our strong gun laws—for example, by removing the genuine reasons criteria for reapplications for category H concealable handguns for rural use. Worryingly, nowhere in the LNP’s election policy do they mention a commitment to John Howard’s National Firearms Agreement. In fact, they do not mention it at all.

I also found it interesting that their policy is called fairer gun laws. Why would they not say safer gun laws or tighter gun laws? Could the LNP perhaps explain who their gun laws will be fairer to? Could it be Ron Owen from Gympie because the member for Everton has admitted that he has been talking with the president of the Firearm Owners Association of Australia who, just last week, just days after the Las Vegas shooting massacre had the gross insensitivity to describe all gun laws as irrelevant and demand the unregulated ownership of firearms. In that interview that the member for Everton did with the Shooters Union Australia he mentions how he drops into Ron Owen’s place when he is in Gympie to consult with him and also mentions how he is now more informed on gun laws. The Shooters Union Australia is an international affiliate of the US pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, and has the stated aim of stopping the National Firearms Agreement.

Perhaps even more alarmingly the member for Everton has repeated his attack on the Queensland Police Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch. He has told the Shooters Union that the Queensland Police Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch was dictating policy by refusing some applicants licences and that any minister who allowed that to happen was gutless. He said a police minister was obligated to intervene and order police to stop interfering with people’s right to own firearms. I make no apology for taking advice from those on the front line—those who have the most experience and who are impacted the most by weapons legislation, our brave police.

The offensive attack on our police by the member for Everton is not new. He has made numerous allegations again the Weapons Licensing Branch and has even accused them of not complying with the law. In their just released policy, the LNP state that they would stop the Weapons Licensing Branch from rejecting applications for licences. ‘The current approach by the Weapons Licensing Branch has provided great uncertainty and needs to change,’ the policy says.

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Last month the member for Everton also told Queensland Country Life that a Tim Nicholls led government would be ordering the Weapons Licensing Branch to toe the line. ‘The government can’t abrogate its responsibility to public servants, which is what Labor has done,’ the member for Everton has said.

People who have had their licence renewal refused will be able to reapply under the new policy they say. In other words, a Nicholls led LNP government will order the Queensland Police Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch to issue licences to people who have previously been rejected. They will be telling our police how to do their job. Operational decisions should always be made by the police in accordance with law, not by politicians. The Liberal National Party have made no secret of their opportunistic plan to grab votes by watering down our tough gun laws. In April this year, amid a worrying outbreak of gun violence on the Gold Coast, a gaggle of local LNP MPs joined pro-gun lobbyists at a Gold Coast shooting range to open fire on John Howard’s firearm laws. The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that the Shooters Union Australia and joint host, the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, used the event as a platform to criticise existing gun laws.

What we see time and time again from this LNP opposition is a persistence to mix policing with politics. It got them into trouble in the dark old days of the Bjelke-Petersen era and it will get them back in trouble again. They have learnt nothing from the lessons of the past. The Leader of the Opposition now has to come clean. Is he weakening our gun laws as part of a preference deal he has done with One Nation or is holding on to the leadership of the LNP—

Mr DICKSON: Mr Speaker, I rise to a point of order. I do not think One Nation has too much to do with the debate, and we are still waiting for the minister to answer the question: how many people have been shot by Adlers since June 2015?

Mr SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Mr RYAN: The Leader of the Opposition now has to come clean. Is he weakening our gun laws as part of a preference deal he has done with One Nation or is holding on to the leadership of the LNP so important that he is willing to betray his constituents in Clayfield and around Queensland who will no doubt be appalled by any weakening of our gun laws?

Our government stands for strong gun controls. Our government will not step back from the National Firearms Agreement. We oppose the disallowance motion and we support keeping Queenslanders safe through a robust, responsible, strong gun control regime here in Queensland.

Division: Question put—That the motion be agreed to.

AYES, 5:

KAP, 2—Katter, Knuth.

PHON, 1—Dickson.



NOES, 76:

ALP, 39—Bailey, Boyd, Brown, Butcher, Crawford, D’Ath, de Brenni, Dick, Donaldson, Farmer, Fentiman, Furner, Gilbert, Grace, Harper, Hinchliffe, Howard, Jones, Kelly, King, Linard, Lynham, Madden, Miles, Miller, O’Rourke, Palaszczuk, Pearce, Pease, Pegg, Pitt, Power, Russo, Ryan, Saunders, Stewart, Trad, Whiting, Williams.

LNP, 37—Barton, Bates, Bennett, Bleijie, Boothman, Cramp, Crandon, Cripps, Davis, Elmes, Emerson, Frecklington, Hart, Janetzki, Krause, Langbroek, Last, Leahy, Mander, McEachan, Millar, Minnikin, Molhoek, Nicholls, Powell, Rickuss, Robinson, Rowan, Seeney, Simpson, Smith, Sorensen, Springborg, Stuckey, Walker, Watts, Weir.

Pairs: Byrne, Costigan; Enoch, Stuckey; Lauga, McArdle.

Resolved in the negative.