Margaret Quirk MLA – Australian Labor Party – Member for Girrawheen

Margaret Quirk MLA - Australian Labor Party - Member for Girrawheen

1) What do you currently know about firearms? No interest, poor, average, well informed?

I possess some knowledge especially about the legislative and licensing regime and management practices of police. I have never used a firearm.

2) Are you open to talking to us regarding firearms issues? Will you consult members of the industry before making/supporting changes to firearms legislation and only support changes based on evidence and fact rather than emotive arguments?

Yes. Ordinarily, consultation with stakeholders industry is left to the Shadow/ Minister and we act collectively on the advice of that member. As individuals, we also take into account the views of constituents in formulating appropriate policy responses.

 3) Do you support further increases in firearms legislations?

I gather that this question means increases in fees. I have examined the case put forward by WA Police to the Joint standing committee on delegated legislation and I personally believe that the costs asserted to be incurred by WAPOL have been very inflated. I only support fees which truly reflect cost recovery. Anything in excess of that is a tax and hence unlawful in regulations.

4) Currently firearms in WA are licensed based on their appearance rather than functionality; will you support the WA Law Reform Commission’s recommendations to change this legislation?

My personal view is that the legislative control of firearms should directly correlate to the degree of risk and the potential level of harm and damage incurred if misused in the wrong hands. In a federation like Australia, I think a level of uniformity should be enforced as our borders are permeable. I have not studied the LR report in any detail as its release was delayed. It is deeply disappointing that Attorney –General Michael Mischin sat on releasing this report for many months. Consequentially its contents could not be debated and canvassed at all before Parliament rose.

 5) What is your position on recreational hunting on public land? Do you support it?

Some would argue that control of feral animals is facilitated through this mechanism. The traditional owners of land should be meaningfully consulted and any recreational hunting would need to be consistent with their practices. I am concerned if there is a lack of oversight native wildlife and habitat may well be destroyed through indiscriminate practices.

6) Are you aware that WA firearms owners currently pay the highest administrative fees in Australia? What is your view on this and will you support bringing those costs down? 

See comments at 3. In the current financial climate, where debts incurred by the  Barnett Liberal government are at record highs, I consider it unlikely that there would be a fee decrease. However, any future increases would need to be justified on cost recovery basis.

7) Are you aware of the requirements to own a semi-auto rifle or shotgun? Would you consider a reduction in the restrictions on semi-auto rifles and shotguns if presented with facts to support this?

In general terms only.There would have to be strong and cogent case put to support the same. See comments on the need for uniformity of laws across the federation.

8) Would you be open to an invitation to come out to a SSAA range and try shooting?

I receive a range of invitations but whether I accept is subject to my availability, current responsibilities or whether I need to inform myself further before legislation id debated.