As the insanity of 2016 has wound down and we head into a new year, the anti-gun crowd took one last parting shot at the firearm community at the year’s end.
In an article released on Thursday, Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite stated that he has “written to the Auditor-General” to attempt to re-negotiate the lease at Malabar Rifle Range in NSW.
From the article:
“Finance Department documents revealed the $26,500 annual lease for the Anzac Rifle Range was well below the market value for the beachside land. The median house price in Malabar is $1.91 million, and house prices in the suburb are growing by more than 10 per cent a year, according to CoreLogic data. But for the shooting facility — which includes four shooting ranges, a clubhouse, a caravan park and a car park — the NSW Rifle Association pays $16,140 less than the average yearly rent of $42,460 for a home in the suburb.”
Firstly, it’s standard practice for most not-for-profit sporting clubs to pay under market rates to lease public sporting facilities. There are currently nine golf courses in Mr Thistlethwaite’s electorate – I wonder what an audit of those facilities would turn up? Or we could dig deeper and audit every public sporting facility in the electorate, and indeed, NSW. But we can’t do that, because we’d inevitably be unearthing the same about sports the politicians actually like.
If Matt Thistlethwaite wants to talk “dodgy” leases then let’s talk Eddie Obeid and Circular Quay. Oh wait, can’t mention that – Labor’s involved. Or we can talk about the ABC, renting out prime land in Brisbane for $2000 a week for 120 years. Kettle, meet pot.
Further, what family can afford the almost $2 million price tag for a home in the area? Oh I forgot, Thistlethwaite is a member of the “worker’s party”, Labor, representing the ‘real battlers’ of the Sydney south coast. Mr Thistlethwaite’s claim that Senator Leyonhjelm did a “secret deal” is ludicrous considering it was publicly announced by Leyonhjelm back in May.
Malabar was also the site of an industrial waste dump from 1968 to 1988 and the amount of industrial waste and lead contamination makes it nonviable for public development. But no, it’s magically fit for a ‘public park’ as Thistlethwaite signals his intention to convert the site into (which will undergo a magical change of heart – thousands of apartments and millions of dollars later).
Thistlethwaite also stated on ABC News that Malabar Rifle Range “was inconsistent with family values.” Well, this comes as a shock to the over 1 million Australians who have a family member with a firearm owner or more within them. This comes as no surprise coming from the ABC continuing it’s anti-gun agenda ; and also clearly puts forward the case why the disgrace of a broadcaster should be defunded.
Malabar Rifle Range has existed for 150 years in various forms and is the largest shooting complex in the southern hemisphere. It has also been the site where generations of Diggers and ANZAC’s have trained before deploying to serve their country, most notably the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Forces during the First World War.
So what’s the motive? Well it’s not hard to work out. It’s a land grab and nothing more.
Behold Matt Thistlethwaite’s “constituents”:
So who is Huang Xiangmo? A Chinese real estate developer and Chairman of Yuhu Group. Oh, he’s also the same guy that was involved with disgraced Labor MP Sam Dastyari – a real upstanding member of the community who also departed China after being caught up in a corruption scandal in his native Shenzhen.
We can’t wait to see what Chinese New Year event Mr Thistlethwaite attends at the end of January.
NSW is continuing it’s full potato mode. First, it was the infamous lockouts so developers could get into Kings Cross and James Packer could get an under the table deal for Barangaroo. Then, it was the Greyhounds so Mike Baird could get his corrupt mitts on Wentworth Park. And now it’s Malabar’s turn. The old formula of inventing a crisis and simultaneously presenting the solution, when your motives are quite clearly something else, seems to be a recurring theme in NSW and indeed politics everywhere.
To be fair, this isn’t the first time Malabar has been targeted. Both Bob Carr and Morris Iemma had a go at trying to offload the range to the real estate mafia during their terms.
It’s also yet another part in the wider chapter of the sell-off of Australia (sorry, “open for business”) – both federal and state governments are completely broke due to years of bipartisan economic vandalism, and selling off land and national assets is all they have left. It would be interesting to see what state government budgets would look like without planning permit and stamp duty revenue, particularly in NSW and Victoria.
Further, it’s also another angle that the control freak anti-gun brigade are taking – take away their places to shoot and therefore you suddenly don’t need a firearm – much like the Great Forest National Park proposal down in Victoria.
2016 was an eventful year for shooters. 2017 has only just literally begun and we’re already into the fight.