Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 June 2017) . . Page.. 1894 ..
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Firearms Amendment Bill 2017
Debate resumed from 30 March 2107, on motion by Mr Gentleman:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (10.47): I stand to speak to the Firearms Amendment Bill 2017 that is before the Assembly today. After initial briefings, I was reasonably okay about supporting this bill. A briefing from the directorate and from the minister’s office assured me that consultation had occurred, that there were only four firearm owners affected by the reclassification of a lever action firearm and that all four of those affected by these changes had already been moved to a category B firearm licence.
I note that the minister has also stated in the media and in his tabling speech that he has consulted. Perhaps the government needs to revisit the meaning of the word “consult”, because the questions that have been raised around the consultation on this bill have to do with whether a committee has been properly consulted, whether in fact we really need to rush this bill through now or whether there is some scope for it to go through a proper consultation process.
Talking about consultation is starting to sound a bit like a broken record on this side. We are not, in this case, even talking about consultation with the broader community. We are merely talking about consultation with a committee that the government has set up and that has existed for some 20 years. So, after coming across information recently that some serious questions have arisen regarding the integrity of the development of this bill, I am not sure that the minister has given the Assembly the right reasons to pass the bill today. I am not confident that the minister has followed due process in the development.
Earlier yesterday I was advised of the following: the chair of the government’s Firearms Consultative Committee, who cannot advise the opposition, apparently, and who did not advise the opposition, was waiting for the directorate to provide her with a copy of the legislation to be considered; members of the government’s Firearms Consultative Committee were not consulted or asked for any sort of written response on this bill; members of the committee have written to the minister seeking briefings and consultation, but it did not occur; there is at least one firearm owner who owns a lever action shotgun who has not been advised of the changes that are upcoming, despite the assurances I was given that they all had been; and there is a potentially greater concern that Fairfax Media, citing ACT Policing, has stated that there are 40 Adler A110 five-shot lever action shotguns registered to others in Canberra. That is not the information I was given.