An advisory committee for the Tasmania Police Minister wasshunned by gun control lobbyists in the state who failed to accept aninvitation to join its numbers.
The Tasmanian Firearms Consultative Committee is a 12-membergroup that will advise the Police Minister on firearms issues and comprisessporting shooters, firearms dealers and agricultural groups providing a solidcross-section of gun users.
However, Gun Control Australia spokesman Roland Browne criticisedthe fact that not one gun-control advocate had offered to join.
His excuse for not joining the committee was that there wasa confidentiality agreement.
“I wasn’t prepared to tie myself in to confidentialityclauses as an advocate for gun control, it would be a conflict ofinterest,” he said.
In a report in the Mercury newspaper, Tasmania PoliceOperations Support Commander Glenn Frame said the committee would providefeedback to the Minister through the Commissioner of Police.
Expressions of interest for the group were called via anadvertisement in the Mercury in January. Its make-up was announced on Monday.
Mr Frame said nominations were considered and the membershipwas agreed after consultation with Police Minister David O’Byrne.
The second paragraph of the expressions of interest noticeread:
“To ensure the Tasmanian community has input and isconsulted on firearms-related matters, the Commissioner of Police is invitingexpressions of interest from community groups and organisations that have aparticular interest in firearm regulation and control.”
Mr Frame said the committee was briefed by the PoliceMinister recently and would hold its first meeting soon, chaired by TasmaniaPolice.
A number of the stakeholders on the committee madesubmissions on the proposed Firearms Act amendments during the publicconsultation period in December 2010. The amendments are expected to be tabledin parliament next week.
“The committee has been provided with the opportunityto examine the proposed amendments in the coming weeks,” Mr Frame said.
John Green, from the Arms Collector’s Guild of Tasmania andthe Australian Cartridge Collectors Association, is on the committee.
“I was a member of the original advisory group formedback in 2000, but this new group is now under the Minister and only has threeof the original members,” Mr Green said.
Committee member Peter Darke, from the Tasmanian Field andGame Association, said he was satisfied with the proposed amendments.
“Overall we’re happy with it, I can’t see the shootersbeing penalised too much,” Mr Darke said.
“We didn’t get everything we asked for but I don’t seeanything wrong with what’s there.”
Tasmanian Firearms Consultative Committee: Adam Main,Tasmanian Salmonoid Growers Association; Wayne Johnston, Tasmanian Farmers andGraziers Association; John Wise, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia(Tasmania); Gilbert Walker, Tasmanian Rifle Association; Matthew Allen,Tasmanian Deer Advisory Committee; Donald Jones, independent adviser (shootingcoach); Wayne Moore, independent adviser (former police inspector); CherylArnol, Tasmanian Clay Target Association; Ron Tunks, Firearms Dealers; GregAllender, Windfall/Plains Game Management; John Green, Arms Collector’s Guildof Tasmania and the Australian Cartridge Collectors Association; Peter Darke,Tasmanian Field and Game Association.