Tuesday, 8 March 2022

LAWFUL gun owners will not be targeted by new legislation passed in the Federal Lower House recently designed to curb the movement of illicit firearms throughout Australia.

Queensland Senator and Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Susan McDonald, slammed a misinformation campaign claiming anyone ordering guns and gun parts by mail would face mandatory jail under the new laws.

Senator McDonald strongly supports legitimate gun ownership, and grew up shooting on her family’s Western Queensland cattle station.

“I can’t stress this enough – these new laws target illegal firearms only,” she said.

“For many years, legitimate firearms owners have demanded harsher penalties for gun traffickers and we’re delivering on that.

“It’s not the lawful firearms users committing crimes, it’s criminal gangs and drug syndicates – these are who we’re targeting with these harsher penalties.”
Under the new Criminal Code Amendment (Firearms Trafficking) Bill 2022, the maximum penalty for firearms trafficking will be increased from 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Offenders could face up to life imprisonment where they traffic 50 or more firearms and/or firearms parts, and those convicted face a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment.

“I am disappointed that the Government again has to put out meaningless spotfires lit by elected Members who are using people’s fears to promote themselves,” said Senator McDonald.

“First the Member for Kennedy called for trucks to be allowed to ‘switch off’ engine components to alleviate shortages of fuel additive AdBlue, but the trucking industry came out and said this would cost many thousands of dollars and void warranties.

“He then criticised the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for not financing major projects when, in fact, there have been 29 NAIF investment decisions totalling around $3.2 billion, supporting projects with an estimated total capital value of $6.5 billion.

“He is pressuring the Federal Government to support irrigation at Hughenden when water allocations haven’t even been granted by the State Government, and he demands that CopperString be built even though the company is yet to sign a power supply contract with the State Government.

“He also demanded the Government do more to get backpackers to work on Australian farms and in businesses without noting there are no less than six Federal programs in place to achieve this and which have resulted in a 17% increase in working holiday visa approvals in February alone.

“Now he has legitimate gun owners convinced they will go to jail for simply ordering gun parts.

“I would like to apologise to the people of North Queensland for the continual misinformation they are subject to. You really deserve better.”



Recommendation 1


The committee recommends the Australian Government develops a mandatory regulatory framework for the labelling of plant-based protein products, in consultation with representatives from the traditional and plant-based protein sectors, food service industry and retailers.

Recommendation 2


The committee recommends the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reviews the placement of plant-based protein products in retailers’ stores, including online platforms.

Recommendation 3


The committee recommends the Australian Government ensures the application of a mandatory regulatory framework is applicable to cultured meat products, in preparation for the introduction of those products onto the Australian market.

Recommendation 4


The committee recommends that, as part of its current review and modernisation of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1999, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) initiate a review in consultation with industry, of section 1.1.1—13(4) of the FSANZ Code and recommend exempting its application to named meat, seafood and dairy category brands.

Recommendation 5


The committee recommends, on conclusion and application of the review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code, that Food Standards Australia New Zealand develops guidelines to inform labelling and marketing practices for manufacturers of plant-based protein products.

Recommendation 6


The committee recommends the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission develops a National Information Standard that defines and restricts the use of meat category brands to animal protein products. This standard should include guidance on the use of livestock imagery for labelling and marketing of plant-based protein products.

Recommendation 7


The committee recommends the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, examines measures to:

strengthen the plant-based protein product sector’s capacity to source its products from Australian grown produce; and

support investment opportunities into the Australian plant-based alternative product sector’s manufacturing infrastructure to foster competitiveness and market opportunities on the international market.

Recommendation 8


The committee recommends the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment ensures that the plant-based protein product sector is supported to contribute to the Ag2030 goal of achieving a $100 billion agricultural sector by 2030.

Recommendation 9


The committee recommends that, as part of its review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1999, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), initiates consultations with stakeholders about amending the FSANZ Code to include:

a definition of plant-based protein products; and

minimum compositional requirements for plant-based protein products.