Social Media: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
Slogans: It’s Your Powerful Voice
Protecting your freedoms, our farmers and the future of outdoor sports
Themes: Guns, no vaccine mandates, rural Australia, guns
Electorates: Upper House: New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria
Lower House: Farrer, Hume, Maranoa & Riverina (possibly others, see below)
Preferences: not yet available
Previous Reviews: Official Site
Commentaries: 20192018 (VIC) — 2014 (VIC) — 20132010

Policies & Commentary

Before I get into this completely, I just want to explain the bit under Electorates, above. You see, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party haven’t troubled themselves to actually list their candidates on their website. The list of states they’re running in from the Senate is derived from the AEC, the lower house seats from a combination of news reports and the SFF Facebook page (which listed NSW candidates only). So it’s possible I’ve missed some, and I will gratefully accept any amendments to that list.

Cate has observed in the past that this party has a strong NSW bias, and that hasn’t gone away – even many of their Federal Policies make frequent references to NSW state government, or to issues that are state rather than federal jurisdiction.

The SFF has not changed much since the last election. They still think you need more guns, that the science of climate change isn’t settled, that the major parties neglect rural Australia (that one is hard to argue, although it’s interesting how much they try to blame the Labor and Liberal parties for this, rather than the National party – at a guess, trying to avoid pissing off Nat voters while they attempt to woo them across). And they’ve definitely dialed back the anti-asylum seeker rhetoric – if so much as a dogwhistle remains, only the most sensitive dogs can hear it. But to all these, they’ve added some anti-vaccine mandate policies, and adapted some of their own for a covid era – the SFF wants firearms retailers to be declared an essential service so that they can still buy guns in a lockdown, for example. And that’s a lockdown which they oppose full-throatedly, along with an insistence that vaccination not be mandatory (curiously, they list health as a reason to be exempted, apparently unaware that it is already a reason).

That’s not to say that they don’t have some good ideas – for instance, they want to see Increased funding for homelessness and drug addiction research, strategy and innovative means for reducing homelessness in Australia. On the other hand, they also think we need a nuclear missile program to deter China, and that’s only the most notable item on a suite of uncosted defence policies that they want to see. It’s possible that the SFF is actually more pro-defence spending than the Australian Values Party, which I didn’t think was possible. I will give them some credit for acknowledging that they are not a party of government, and announcing their willingness to negotiate with whoever is in power – that’s a kind of realism sadly lacking in a lot of the minor parties. After more than a decade, and some success in various state parliaments, the SFF is realistic about its role, and that’s something I’d like to see more of among minor parties.

But even considering that, at the end of the day, it still comes down to the fact that the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party leans more heavily on the first part of their name than anything else, including wanting Australia’s gun laws to revert to their pre-Howard state. This is a party of well-armed people who think they need to be better armed. The bottom of my ballot is going to be a crowded place this year, I see.

Just a reminder that Maz and I lack the necessary Eurovision knowledge to choose the songs that Catherine liked to include, but we’d love to see what you suggest in the comments below 🙂