Farmers wedged in gun debate
TASMANIAN farmers will shrug their shoulders and move on if proposed gun-law changes do not go through, the state’s peak farming body says.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association president Wayne Johnston said farmers were in a no-win situation regarding the proposed policy to relax firearm laws.
Mr Johnston said the TFGA had not “gone soft” on the issue but wanted sensible debate without the emotion.
“If we come out and say that we demand the Government looks at these proposals and implement them, we get accused of being gun-toting rednecks,” he said.
“If we come out and say we respect the right of debate, we are accused of going soft. We’re still proposing these laws go ahead.”
The State Government has made it clear the proposed gun-law changes were about helping farmers do their jobs by making it easier to access Category C firearms, such as pump-action shotguns.
But the changes have been opposed by former prime minister John Howard, former premier Tony Rundle and survivors of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
When asked if the TFGA had changed its language surrounding the firearm debate, Mr Johnston said: “Well, we are resigned to the fact that democracy will play out. If these changes get up, that’s good, if they don’t, that’s life.” and rapid-fire