Shooters blast Liberals from the upper house

THE Shooters and Fishers Party has claimed one of five Legislative Council seats for the Eastern Victoria region.

The Victorian Electoral Commission this week confirmed the results of the vote for the upper house, with the Shooters and Fishers Party claiming its first two seats in Victorian parliament.

One of those members is party chairman Jeffrey Bourman from the outer Melbourne suburb of Hampton East. Despite gaining only 2.4 per cent of the primary vote, Mr Bourman was able to secure a seat in parliament thanks to the preferences of other minor parties.

The Shooters and Fishers Party believes every law-abiding citizen should have the right to own and use a firearm for legitimate purposes. It strongly supports recreational and conservation hunting, and laws giving shooters access to public land for hunting.

The party also has policies relating to personal freedom, and reduction of governmental interference in citizens’ lives.

Two of the three incumbent Eastern Victoria MLCs standing for re-election were returned to office.

The Liberals’ Edward O’Donohue, the former Corrections and Gaming Minister was the first candidate elected with 41.21 per cent of the vote.

Labor’s Harriett Shing was the next elected with 29.02 per cent. Ms Shing becomes the first woman elected to represent the Eastern Victoria region.

Next elected was Danny O’Brien for the Nationals. Mr O’Brien entered parliament in March following the retirement of Peter Hall.

Mr O’Brien is one of only two Nationals MPs in the Legislative Council, the same as the Shooter and Fishers Party. The Nationals are now outnumbered in the upper house by the Greens, which has five.

Thanks to preferences, Mr Bourman was the fourth candidate elected, leaving a battle for the final seat between the Liberals, Labor and the Greens.

With no candidate receiving enough required votes, Liberals incumbent Andrew Ronalds was eliminated from the count. Mr Ronalds entered parliament in February following the retirement of Philip Davis.

Preferences from the Liberals got Labor’s Daniel Mulino into parliament.

While earning more than eight per cent of the primary vote, the Greens’ Andrea Millsom didn’t have the preferences from the Liberals to get her over the line.

Overall, both the Liberals and Labor both lost seats in the upper house, with each having 14, while the Nationals are down to two. The Greens have risen to five, the Shooters and Fishers have two, with one each for the Australian Sex Party, Democratic Labor Party and Vote 1 Local Jobs.

Last week, the VEC finalised the results for the Legislative Assembly, with Peter Ryan and Tim Bull re-elected on primary votes as MLAs for Gippsland South and Gippsland East respectively.