There is one other fact that should be raised. The minister said earlier on that he’d spoken to all of the gun representatives and they were all very happy. It would be no news to anyone in this place that I would speak to gun representatives almost on a weekly basis, and I take great pride in being their representative in this place. We don’t have a sporting shooters party in Queensland, but we most certainly hold our hands up for that purpose. And there is one thing that needs to be brought to the attention of the House.
There are two magnificent machine-guns in all the world’s history: the Owen gun and the Bren gun. They never break down; they just work forever. The Owen gun was built by a 19-year-old kid, who went down to the local machinery shop and said, ‘Could you machine up these parts?’ He gave them a photograph and diagrams, and six hours later he walked out with an Owen gun, which was, for those people who used it, one of the greatest pieces of machinery that the world had ever seen in weaponry. You see, any diesel fitter, boilermaker or fabricator—anyone—can get hold of this. And we have a vested interest in saying, ‘Would the government’s resources be used in separating the madmen?’ As I said earlier today: reverse the ruling in Tarasoff’s case. I’ll take a bet, I will put $200 on the table, that the minister can’t explain what the ruling in the Tarasoff case was. And don’t go ringing up to find out before you get up to speak! If you reverse that rule, Hoddle Street wouldn’t have taken place, Surry Hills wouldn’t have taken place and Port Arthur wouldn’t have taken place if the laws had been enforced.
There are 600 police employed in Australia persecuting all the innocent people that have gun licences and their time is not being spent pursuing the bad guys and separating them from their guns, and separating the people who are both bad and mad from their guns. There’s no time being spent on that. If you look at the Port Arthur case, there is no justification for the police not having separated that person from those guns. I mean, they knew he had the guns, they knew he was crazy and they knew the evidence of his relatives that had been murdered and girlfriends that had been murdered. They knew all the evidence and yet they left him there. The time is not being spent on that.
The minister is going to punish anyone that’s found bringing a shell case in his pocket back from overseas. I live in North Queensland, Minister, and we interface with New Guinea all the time. It is now the biggest rugby league area in the world and North Queensland is the biggest rugby league area in Australia so we are backwards and forwards all the time. In the Torres Strait, they let us go backwards and forwards as they have for 10,000 or 20,000 years. And because of the dangers that exist for us with the crocodiles, snakes, everything else, sharks in the water—we go diving for crayfish; my cousins and brother are up in the Torres Strait—there are guns going backwards and forwards because they are in their canoes. You ‘ll have half the population of Torres Strait in jail for five years! I don’t know where you are going to get the money from to pay for all these people that you’re going to have in jail. You have not thought this through at all. I have to advise the House that either all the gun groups in Australia are telling lies or the minister is telling lies because they have said to me: ‘They may well as have had a conversation with a gum tree.’
We concentrate all the time on trying to separate the dangerous people from their weapons, and it seems to us that all the authorities want to do is to persecute people that have guns. The minister wasn’t here earlier when I said that the bloke who had six police around his house was president of the local Rotary Club, he was president of the golf club, he was very active in rugby league in his town, and he was the town’s leading dentist. You are criminalising the most decent people in our society.
Chamber House of Representatives on 25/10/2017 Item BILLS – Criminal Code Amendment (Firearms Trafficking) Bill 2017 – Consideration in Detail Speaker: Katter, Bob, MP / Parliment Transcript used for reporting news