TASMANIAN PREMIER, PETER GUTWEIN, recently told us that clay target shooting was not a suitable activity for public school students.  In fact, his response was quite grumpy.

We now know the Premier previously supported the shooting sports. 

So why the change of heart?

Premier Gutwein’s claim

Premier Gutwein made his claim after his education minister, Sarah Courtney, told us that shooting created a ‘risk of serious injury’ for students.

The education minister’s claim was a bare-faced lie. 

It was a shift from the government’s earlier claim that clay target shooting activities could be linked to ‘violence and aggression’.

However it still a long way off from being truthful and we believe, equally slanderous.  It was a claim the Premier repeated to us, as we reported in this story.

He was a club patron

What we didn’t know at the time is that Peter Gutwein is no stranger to the shooting sports.

Mr Gutwein not only handed out prizes at a Xmas shoot at a local clay target shooting club in 2015, but was the club’s patron.   He also listed his patronage in his disclosure of private interests to Parliament at the time.

Here are some pics from that shoot.

What is a patron?

One definition is:  a person chosen, named, or honoured as a special guardian, protector, or supporter

In other words, a guest of honour. Former PM Malcolm Frazer, Victorian Premier, Sir Henry Bolte, and former Governor General , Major-General Michael Jeffery, are examples of former patrons.

Click here to see his letter to us.  In it, he said:

“To reiterate, clay target shooting is not considered suitable
as an off-campus activity for Tasmanian public schools.
… This long standing position reflects the potential risk of
serious injury associated with these activities in this setting.”

While it is not hard to find out what club we are talking about, we do not want this to reflect on the club.

That’s why we have not named them and why we protected the identities of the shooters involve.

Please don’t name the club in the comments. It’s not necessary.

Of course you should.   

Our message to politicians is don’t hold back from being a patron. It’s a great thing to do, for a great sport. You will enjoy it and have bragging rights that other politicians won’t have.

Some famous patrons of Australian shooting organisations include former PM Malcolm Fraser, Vic Premier Sir Henry Bolte and GG Michael Jeffery.  Plus, as we set out in our previous article, you will be sharing the stage with other famous names such as Suzi Quatro, Jackie Stewart and Dame Nellie Melba.

All we just ask that you hold back from saying silly things – and signing responses prepared by bureaucrats who don’t bother to inform themselves.

Do that, and there won’t be a problem.

Be careful who you listen to, Mr Premier…

Given the Premier’s background, the letter must have felt wrong to when he signed it.  Why then, did he?

We think there are two explanations. 

The first is that Gutwein’s letter is what he thinks. The second – and far more likely explanation – is that Premier Gutwein got bad advice from those around him. 

In fact we strongly suspect the Tasmanian Premier signed this off in a bunch of other letters his office prepared for him, without having the time to read them properly.   In other words, we think bureaucrats with their own agendas took advantage of a busy man.

We’re confident that if Mr Gutwein had read letter properly and thought about it, he wouldn’t have signed it – but he did.

The information we have received is that Premier Gutwein is not happy with how this has panned out.  Shooting is a great sport that doesn’t deserve this treatment, so let’s convince the Premier to do the right thing by sending him an email using the link below. 

Help us get change

Help us convince Mr Gutwein to reverse his policy.
Click the orange box to send him an email now! 
(this should open your email program, if you have one)

We need the Tasmanian Premier to reconnect with shooters

The Premier needs to fix this.  He needs to reconnect with the shooting community – and ditch those who gave him the wrong advice. It’s easy for him to do and we will certainly give him credit for doing so.

No government would accept advice on aviation safety from someone who never worked in that sector.  Or advice on medical matters from someone who has no relevant background.  Similarly no government should accept advice on shooting related matters from anyone who have no connection with the shooting community. 

If they do, their advice can only ever be a guess – which can only be incorrect.

Our advice to the Premier is for him to ditch his advisors.  He needs to reverse his policy – and head back to the range himself.

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19 thoughts on “Tasmanian Premier MUST have felt his advice was wrong

  1. David Barton says:

    I wrote a polite and detailed letter to the Premier, the Education Minister and the Sports Minister on the 30th of July. I have had no response from any of them. Pretty poor really. 🙁

    • Neil Jenkins says:

      Thanks David. Yes, I’m sure they would prefer not to respond but the good thing is that we have a lot of people clicking the email link today – so hopefully they’ll get the message.

      Neil Jenkins

  2. Davin Evans says:

    You guys are doing great work. In very glad I joined. The system you have set up makes it so easy to join in and email support to issues for the community.

    • Neil Jenkins says:

      It should open your email program. However if you want to this manually, the premier’s email address is: peter.gutwein@parliament.tas.gov.au and pls BCC us in (admin@nationalshooting.org.au)

      Here is the text:

      Dear Premier

      I note your response on the above matter to the National Shooting Council.

      Shooting has a long, proud history with famous entities such as Suzi Quatro, the Queen, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Jackie Stewart, Dame Nellie Melba, and patrons such as Malcolm Fraser and Sir Henry Bolte.

      It is a sport that is particularly safe because of the way it is managed and why schools around Australia have enjoyed off-campus activities for well over a hundred years. I do not know of any incidents under these arrangements and encourage you to reconsider your view.

      I encourage you to listen to the NSC and reverse your position.

      Yours sincerely

  3. Philip Brown says:

    I have a suspicion that the premier’s letter and subsequent “touchiness”, may stem from the pressures surrounding the 25th anniversary of “Port Arthur”. This would be politically fraught in Tasmania.
    Allowing school students to shoot – even a competitive discipline – would make Mr Gutwein a political target. It would be very easy to persuade him that supporting shooting would be “too courageous a decision” (cf Yes Minister). Just a pity he does not have the intestinal fortitude that conservative politicians are always claiming.

  4. Jeff+Blackmore says:

    In my opinion, while the Education department does not recognize shooting sports in the school curriculum. then the government cannot support it either. Gunsmithing is not recognized as a future job opportunity too. Change the education department Australia wide on these issues first. Our Premier has supported families getting involved in shooting as a family activity in correspondence to this NSC.

  5. Ben+Borradaile says:

    What do expect from a guy who banned all bow hunting in Tasmania on a whim because a bunch of teenagers shot a wallaby whit a target arrow and animal activist went nuts.

    • Jeff+Blackmore says:

      You are incorrect. You can hunt rabbits and hares with a bow and arrow, but not roo, possum or deer.

  6. John says:

    During my time as a student in secondary school (Altona Nth Technical School) in Victoria back in the mid to late 70’s i actively sought target shooting as an off campus “elective” with some of the teachers and didn’t take long to get a lot of interest for both teachers and students alike, so it was arranged with the principal and off the to Williamstown rifle range we went, this “off campus” activity was enjoyed by both students and teachers shooting right out as far as 900 meters (yes the teacher shot as well) , long after i had finished secondary school and was in to the work force, its sickening to see that the anti gun people have now got such a strong foot hold in politics that they can socially engineer what kids need to think to suit their agendas.

  7. Victor Chris says:

    The Honourable dick Hamer Victorian premier in the 1970s was number one Patron member of the Sporting Shooters Association of Victoria

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