The NSW Liberals have called on John Howard to deliver an anti-gun message as they feel the pressure mounting in the lead up to this election. The message is not only misleading but the timing is extremely questionable.
The SMH reported NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called on Labor to “rip up” its preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, as former prime minister John Howard joined the campaign trail ahead of Saturday’s state election.
Mr Howard defended his appearance in Liberal ads released over the weekend, in which he warned that, if Labor won government, the Shooters would exert “enormous pressure” to weaken gun laws.
Responding to criticism about the timing of the ads, Mr Howard said they had been filmed before the Christchurch terrorist attack on Friday, however the party still chose to run the adds starting Sunday.
“I haven’t made any comments [about New Zealand] except to express my condolences about what has happened,” Mr Howard said.
“But if you’re talking about the criticism I’ve made about the preference deal between [Labor leader Michael] Daley and the Shooters party, I’ll repeat it.
“I think it’s bad he’s made a preference deal because if Labor were to win with the help of the Shooters, the Shooters would demand a relaxation of our gun laws. That is as surely as night follows day.”
The Shooters had long since abandoned an policies mentioned in Howard’s message.
Shooters MLC Robert Borsak said the party had no policy to give guns to children, and accused the Coalition of “desperately trying to divert their attention away from their neglect of the bush”.
“It’s not 10-year-olds with guns that country people are worried about. They’re worried about 10-year-olds not being able to drink safe tap water because of NSW Government water mismanagement,” he said in a video statement posted to his Facebook page.