Shooters and Fishers Party
|Shooters and Fishers Party|
|Headquarters||PO Box 376, Baulkham Hills NSW 1755|
|Politics of Australia
The Shooters and Fishers Party, formerly the Shooters Party or the Australian Shooters Party, is an Australian political party. Registered with the Australian Electorial Commission 27 August 2007.
The Shooters Party came into existence on May 2, 1992 when the New South Wales Government proposed laws preventing citizens from owning firearms for self-defense as part of a raft of firearms laws after a number of mass shootings. It was founded by journalist and broadcaster John Tingle, who was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council in March 1995 as the party's first representative. Tingle resigned in May 2006, and was succeeded by businessman Robert Brown.
The party's policies are not entirely focused around firearms. It asserts that every law-abiding citizen should have the right to own and use a firearm for legitimate purposes. It strongly supports recreational & conservation hunting, and laws giving shooters access to public land for hunting. It also has policies relating to personal freedom, and reduction of governmental interference in citizens' lives; as well as the need for five-year reviews of all legislation. The party's motto is "Reclaim Freedom". It actively supports recreational fishers, four-wheel drivers and other outdoor users, as well as rural activities of farming, mining & forestry. The Party opposes what it calls "extreme Green policies" and the "left leaning social reconstructive agenda" of the Greens.
The Party counts among its achievements, a number of successful Bills, including those giving rights of self-defence to any citizen, anywhere, with immunity from civil or criminal liability; providing extra penalties for attacks on vulnerable people; giving families of homicide victims the right to be heard in court; establishment of the Game Council New South Wales, and legislation allowing specifically licensed hunters to hunt on public land; government funding of shooting clubs, and establishment of regional shooting complexes; recognition of membership of a hunting club as "genuine reason" for obtaining a firearms licence; extension of minor permits from ages 18 to 12, etc. The Shooters Party also assists firearms organizations.
Before the federal election of 2004, the Australian Shooters Party was deregistered by the Australian Electoral Commission for failing to contest a federal election for four years. It was re-registered after the 2004 federal election but was deregistered again on 27 December 2006, along with a number of minor parties which did not have a representative sitting in Federal Parliament. Re-registration, after this event, was achieved in August 2007. The Australian Shooters Party contested the 2007 federal elections and received 0.28% of the national vote (though they did not contest all states & even then only with Senate tickets) and 1.1% of the vote in NSW. The Party was instrumental in flowing preferences away from the Greens in NSW (who failed to be reelected), Queensland & Victoria.
The South Australian 2006 state election saw the Shooters Party run two candidates for the Legislative Council, Robert Low and Michael T Hudson, preferencing the Family First Party as well as the One Nation Party. The Shooters Party received 5,991 votes out of 1,055,347 voters enrolled, which is 0.6% of the vote, with only a 0.08 quota. Neither candidate was elected.
In the 2007 New South Wales state election, the Shooters Party received 2.8% of the primary vote for the Legislative Council (↑0.8%) to elect lead candidate Roy Smith to the Upper House. As a result, the party now holds 2 seats in the NSW Upper House.
At the 2011 New South Wales state election, the Liberal/National Coalition took government but with three seats short of a majority in the upper house. The Shooters and Fishers Party hold two seats along with the Christian Democratic Party, with the balance of power shifting from the Greens to the two parties. The Shooters have reportedly created a list of demands in exchange for legislative support for the government, however the government has "ruled out" any deals with the Shooters.
May 2012 the two crossbench Shooters and Fishers Party MPs successfully negotiated a deal with the NSW O'Farrell government giving recreational shooters in NSW access to national parks to cull feral animals including pigs, rabbits and deer by allowing the passage of laws through the NSW upper house to sell the state-owned power stations Eraring Energy, Delta Electricity and Macquarie Generation expected to raise up to $3 billion.
At the 2013 Western Australian state election, Shooters and Fishers candidate Rick Mazza was elected to the Legislative Council representing the Agricultural Region with 3.09% of the vote in that region.
- John Tingle (New South Wales Legislative Council, 1995–2006)
- Robert Brown (New South Wales Legislative Council, 2006–present)
- Roy Smith (New South Wales Legislative Council, 2007–2010)
- Robert Borsak (New South Wales Legislative Council, 2010–present)
- Rick Mazza (Western Australian Legislative Council, 2013–present)
- "Registration of Shooters and Fishers Party". Extract from the Register of Political Parties for the Shooters and Fishers Party. Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Senate State First Preferences by Group
- "Upper House shift from left to right". ABC News (Australia). 27 March 2011.
- "O'Farrell rules out deal with Shooters". ABC News (Australia). 13 April 2011.
- "Shooters’ deal secures power sell-off". Australian Financial Review. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Swain, Marie.(1996) Gun control : historical perspective and contemporary overview Sydney, NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, 1996. ISBN 0-7310-5951-4. Series: Briefing paper (New South Wales. Parliamentary Library Research Service) ; no. 11/96