New South Wales Labor leader Michael Daley says he will resign from parliament if the state’s guns laws are weakened, despite his party cutting a preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ahead of this Saturday’s state election.
- The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party wants gun laws relaxed in NSW
- Despite negotiating a preference deal with the party, Mr Daley has ruled out any weakening of gun laws
- Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly ruled out any deal with the Shooters Party
Mr Daley is under renewed pressure over the preference swap in the wake of the deadly shootings in Christchurch, which once again put the issue of gun control on the political agenda.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party has previously demanded the relaxation of the National Firearms Agreement introduced by John Howard, and continues to advocate for a review of the administration of the firearms act in New South Wales.
Polls are predicting a hung parliament from this Saturday’s vote, with the Shooters Party potentially holding great bargaining power in any potential negotiations to form government.
Mr Daley said under no circumstances would Labor would support a weakening of the state’s gun laws, either in government or opposition.
“If the Liberal and Nationals and Shooters combine to weaken the gun laws in NSW I will resign from Parliament,” Mr Daley said.
“I will not be a part of a Parliament that weakens the gun laws in New South Wales, it will not happen if I am premier.
“There’s a big leap between what’s on a how-to-vote card and what might be in legislation.”
The Premier Gladys Berejiklian today echoed her warning that Labor’s preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party sent a dangerous message.
“It concerns me because it legitimises a party, being the Shooters Party, who support the reduction or dilution of our guns laws,” Ms Berejiklian said.
During the election campaign Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly ruled out accepting the support of Shooters MPs to form government if the voters deliver a hung parliament.
She urged Mr Daley to do the same.
“The Shooters support giving guns to 10-year-olds, they support bringing semi-automatics into NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I don’t stand for that, I never have, I never will. And I think the Labor leader and his party need to make the same call,” she said.
When asked whether he would accept the Shooters numbers’ to secure minority government in a hung parliament, Mr Daley said he “wouldn’t get into hypotheticals”.
But he added: “I won’t form a coalition with anybody.”
Mr Daley said strong gun control was one of his “core beliefs”, pointing out that as an Australian Customs officer he had “crawled through containers looking for firearms” and as a police minister had rejected the Shooters Party’s demands for concessions to the laws.
“I’ve said no to them once in Customs, I’ve said no to them twice when I was a minister, if I am premier I will say no to them again.”
In the Coalition’s first term of government the Shooters Party shared the balance of power in the Upper House.
During that time the party managed to secure an agreement allow hunting in national parks in exchange for supporting the government’s power privatisation legislation, but a backlash forced the premier Barry O’Farrell to renege on the deal.
Topics: state-elections, elections, political-parties, sydney-2000, nsw
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