The Tide is Turning – Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party, Nationals and the Adler

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This week saw a colossal upset to the National Party losing its strong hold to the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party in the National heartland seat of Orange. Shortly followed by a National MP revolt over the importation of the Adler shotgun. 

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers won the By-Election by a slim 50-vote win. The win ending a 68 year Nationals and Country Party's unbroken reign in the seat of Orange.

Mr Donato said Mr Baird's council amalgamations and the attack on the NSW greyhound industry had made "the Nationals the fall guys".

"Certainly they were the issues that got people riled up and the Nationals copped the flak for being seen as too weak to stand up to Mr Baird's mad rush," he said.

"But the Premier's relentless pursuit of privatisation is so out of step of how things are in the country: we depend on government for jobs, services, access to authority and that all goes when you turn to privatisation as the only thing that really matters.

"The Nationals are supposed to know and understand this, but they've dropped the ball."

His by-election victory has opened the door to all sorts of speculation of how the Coalition and the Nationals particularly will counter the flight of their support to Pauline Hanson's One Nation in the upcoming Western Australia and Queensland state elections.

John Tingle founder of The Shooters Party added his personal sentiment’s on the recent events on Australia's biggest hunting forum AHN. 

“The recriminations will go on for a long time as the Nats and to some extent the Libs try to point out that it was not their fault - that they didn't do anything wrong”.

“Or that it had something to do with Donald Trump. People saying this, have totally failed to grasp that Trump is a consequence - not a cause - of what's happening in the world.  He is just one example of it.  SFFF is another.  People are fed up!”

“Can I suggest we don't waste any time even reporting or discussing or denying, the sulky self-defensive stuff we will hear”.

The facts are plain and simple.

“SFFF won. The Nationals lost.  That it is by only 50 votes is meaningless against the fact that it was probably the safest seat in NSW and that the Nats had held it unchallenged for 69 years”.

“In my books that ratio equals a margin of many thousands of votes lost by the Nats”.

“This is a great and unexpected victory in the most (supposedly) difficult seat in the state”.  

“That it was a shooter who finally achieved it should give the big parties some sleepless nights”.

“In 1995 I was told again and again that my election was a fluke - a flash in the pan, and would never be repeated”.

“Well that was 21 years ago and SFFF is still there and still winning”.

“Massive congratulations to Phillip Donato, and the dedicated and efficient and politically savvy team that pulled it off”.

“You just made history. Well done!”

Late Monday evening a number of senior Nationals MPs have staged a revolt in the Parliament over the importation of the Adler shotgun, with two backbench senators crossing the floor and four others, including three cabinet ministers, abstaining from a vote to lift the ban on the firearm.

The motion was defeated because the major parties and the Greens combined to vote it down 54-7, meaning the ban will stay in place. But Nationals backbenchers Bridget McKenzie and John Williams crossed the floor to approve the motion. 

Senator McKenzie, a licensed firearm owner and chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group, told Parliament those who claim allowing in the Adler shotgun would weaken Australia's tough gun laws were running a scare campaign.

The Nationals' Chief Whip in the lower house, George Christensen, told Fairfax Media his upper house colleagues had been forced into their act of defiance because of the government's inaction on the issue.

West Australian Liberal MP Ian Goodenough, who also supports overturning the ban, agreed that frustration was a factor in the Nationals insurrection, which he said he backed.

"I have had conversations with Senators McKenzie and Williams – they have a good understanding of firearms and are frustrated that their colleagues do not comprehend the absurdity of refusing to classify the Adler."

"Their decision to cross the floor is justified as they know there are many other legally available firearms of similar capacity on the market."

 

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