Shooters and Fishers Party member Rick Mazza MLC has moved a step closer to having hunting in WA state forests established.

Rick Mazza takes on WA bureaucrats in Parliament


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Shooters and Fishers Party WA Senator Rick Mazza has called into question the efficiencies of the WA government’s Firearms Branch in state’s Parliament Budget Estimates Hearings recently.

Mr Mazza pointed out wastes of police resources and questioned the financial onus on firearms owners and the revenue the state was taking from them, while also probing about a potential review of the state’s gun laws.

After a series of questions about budget inefficiencies, Mr Mazza asked what the cost of a review into the Firearms Act would be and asked where it appeared in the budget.

“The minister has been quoted on several occasions referring to a review of the Firearms Act,” he said.

“What is the expected cost and can somebody point it out in the budget because I can’t find it.”

“We are looking at a review of the firearms legislation generally in Western Australia to identify its objectives, what we’re trying to achieve with firearms legislation and how’s the best way of going about it,” responded Attorney-General Michael Mischin.

Some of the questions that were put to the firearms branch of the police department included:

The budget estimates revenue from firearms infringement fines are expected to rise from $140,000 to $200,000. What are the nature of those firearms infringements and why have they risen 43 per cent?

Price Waterhouse Coopers did a value-for-money audit around 2011. Was Price Waterhouse Coopers aware, as per the current minister’s claim, that the firearms branch was heavily subsidised?

Have any efficiency indicators been assessed in the firearms branch?

If you’re looking for efficiencies in this department, is it still common practice to send two sworn officers to deliver a refusal of application for a firearms licence when Australia Post could handle that?

Licence applications are received by Australia Post and processed on their computer, however, when it’s received at police licensing it is then manually loaded on to the police licensing system, which seems a very inefficient waste of resources and time that makes this department very expensive. Is there anything being done to address that?

$7million had been allocated to the improvement of the overall firearms system. How much of that figure will firearms owners have to fund, given the minister’s statement that users will have to pay for the system, and do the police have the funds to full integrate this system?

How many full-time employees are in the firearms branch? And how many applications would they process in a month?

He also asked why a firearms owner had to go through a full application process each time they apply to purchase a rifle of the same type.

The answers are informative, but most importantly it shows an elected firearms representative at work in the State Parliament.

 


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Justin Law

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