S&F to fight WA fee hikes

The Shooters and Fishers Party says WA firearm owners must keep pressure on politicians to reverse the massive increase in licence fees.

Some fees rose by around $100 on 1 July, with regular gun owners and collectors the hardest hit.

The hikes have purportedly been implemented to pay for a new licensing system to replace existing one that has been roundly condemned by shooters and the state’s auditor general.

However, many shooters see it as a cynical way of pricing people out of gun ownership.

“The S&F will be very active in opposing the increase in parliament,” S&F MLC Rick Mazza said.

He said it will be several weeks before the WA parliament sits again, and during that time shooters must contact their MPs to voice their opposition to the new fees.

“Each of us has seven representatives in parliament – yes, seven,” Mr Mazza said, referring to the lower house MLA who represents each electorate and the six upper house MLCs who represent each region.

“You can find details of the names and addresses of members on the WA parliamentary website,” he said.

“Your letter should be polite and short. Writing two or three times making different points each time will show that the storm of protest will not blow over. Send your letters to all seven of your representatives.”

He suggested making the following points:

  • There was no consultation with industry or sporting bodies.
  • There has been no accountable scrutiny of the reasons for the increases.
  • The fees were last reviewed in June 2012 on the basis of cost recovery. How can the costs have increased so drastically in 12 months?
  • The cost of similar services is much lower in other states, suggesting there is something amiss in WA.

“You are of course invited to make any other points you think are relevant, but short and polite is important,” he said.

The S&F also provided links comparing the fees in other states: WA, QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, TAS.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.