SFFP’s VICTORIAN MP JEFF BOURMAN has failed to support a proposal to work with the NSC to seek key changes to the state’s Firearms Act that would have paved the way for a better legislative and policy environment for shooters.
Importantly we invited him to ‘call in’ the credits he has built with Labor to help do this.
While we must all accept that the shooting community is not exempt from the need for us to ‘do our bit’ in the response to the pandemic, shooters need those who they elect to parliament to step in when needed.
When his former party colleague, Daniel Young, stood up against the government over Victoria’s donation laws, Bourman didn’t follow suit. He voted with the government, helping to pass laws that now severely limit organisations like shooting groups to donate to political causes.
Daniel got roasted over it, and lost his seat at the 2018 election, after being dealt a dud deal on preferences that many saw as deliberate.
The COVID vote
The ‘State of Emergency’ that the Victorian Government used to deal with the pandemic expired in October.
In order to be able to keep restrictions in place for longer – into the new year – the Andrews Government proposed to extend the ‘State of Emergency’ through to April.
The alternative was to allow the government to extend it on a month-by-month basis, which would have given parliament greater oversight and authority over the Premier’s decisions.
Given that gun shops, gun clubs were suffering significant economic and social damage, you would have thought that greater accountability over the government’s actions is something Mr Bourman would have voted for.
However, the matter went to the vote and Bourman sided with the government. He then copped a barrage of abuse from his own members, and many others.
Our olive branch
The NSC did not jump into the pile-on that occurred on Jeff. Instead, on November 4, we wrote to Jeff offering him a way out.
We asked him to work with us to ‘call in Labor credits’ that he has built up with them over time, and seek his response on whether he would be willing to work towards several improvements that would help shooters.
In particular, we are interested in seeking changes to the way the government administers the firearms portfolio, encourage economic development in our industry and the way it interacts with lawmakers. We offered Jeff an opportunity to work on a roadmap to help improve the political environment for shooters, at least in Victoria.
We asked Jeff to respond by email by November 26, which has not been received.
Now we know where his priorities lay.