The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party will continue its raid on country seats at the March election with a run in Goulburn.
Leader and Upper House member Robert Borsak confirmed the party had pre-selected local secondary school teacher, Andrew Wood as a candidate.
Mr Wood is also a member of the Goulburn Sporting Shooters Association branch. He could not be contacted for comment but Mr Borsak said the partial closure of Goulburn Rifle Range had sparked his candidature. The NSW Firearms Registry is insisting on a range danger zone, which it says will ensure public safety. However it is restricting the Sporting Shooters’ long established activities. Talks between the council, police, the Goulburn Rifle Club and Sporting Shooters have been underway for some time.
Mr Borsak described the restrictions as “the worst kind of bureaucratic BS” he’d ever heard.
“Our candidature was motivated by the unfair and unreasonable treatment by the Firearms Registry,” he said.
“They’ve partly reopened the range but it’s not good enough and it reflects poorly on what is a pretty straightforward shooting matter.”
Mr Borsak said the distance limitations ignored the fact people were shooting into a hill and “defied all logic.”
He and the party are pursuing the matter further with the Firearms Registry, urging it to take a risk management approach to range danger areas rather than “flat line management.”
“No one wants to sign off on it if there’s even a perception of risk,” he said.
While not expecting to win the seat, Mr Borsak told The Post that his party was detecting “disillusionment” with sitting MP Pru Goward.
“It (the electorate) wasn’t high on on our radar but a number of people came to us and wanted to protest about the way they were treated. So who were we to argue?” he said.
“There are seats where we have a better chance but if we have a quality candidate – which this person is – then we’ll have a go.”
He believed he would draw support from “disaffected” National Party supporters, as well as Labor voters.
The party is trying to boost the number of Lower House candidates running in the March poll. It is running candidates in 16 seats, including Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s Monaro electorate, which he holds by a slim 2.5 per cent margin. Others include Barwon, Cootamundra, Wollondilly, Tamworth, Northern Tablelands, Clarence, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour and Gosford.
Many of these are National and Liberal held seats.
Philip Donato seized the seat of Orange for the Shooters and Fishers at a 2016 by-election, previously held by The Nationals.
Mr Borsak said Ms Goward had been a good Minister and his party had supported her in making adoption laws easier.
However he hoped a “good, strong independent” would run in Goulburn, as well as a One Nation candidate.
“One way or another, the government will pay for its stupidity,” he said.
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