Gympie's Dobson defends controversial campaign funding
BREAKING: Gympie's One Nation candidate Chelle Dobson has defended her party's ties to a controversial American firearm lobby after it was revealed she received a campaign donation from a Queensland affiliate.
Ms Dobson received $1327.45 from the Queensland Shooters Union which has ties to the American National Rifle Association.
"We have a policy that supports law-abiding firearm owners, and they (Queensland Shooters Union) were happy to sponsor a number of candidates for the Queensland election," Ms Dobson said.
"You need to understand that Australia and America have different firearm laws. I have never had anything to do with the ANRA. We deal with Australia and Queensland. They (QSU) may deal with a number of firearm groups all around the world. Just as in our healthcare people would deal with professionals all over the world. It would be no different."
EARLIER: GUN advocates affiliated with the American National Rifle Association are helping fund One Nation's return to Queensland politics and another shooters' body is paying for full-page ads urging voters to "flick" the major parties. The Queensland Shooters Union has spent thousands of dollars boosting One Nation candidates, including former party director Jim Savage. The Electoral Commission of Queensland's donations disclosure website shows the Shooters Union gave $1400 to Brian Higgins, One Nation's Gregory candidate; $1327.45 to Chelle Dobson, One Nation's Gympie candidate; and $1476.95 to Mr Savage's campaign in Lockyer.
Mr Savage and Mr Higgins did not respond to requests for comment, however Ms Dobson did.
"You need to understand that Australia and America have different firearm laws. I have never had anything to do with the ANRA," she said. "Law-abiding firearm owners are not the problem, it's the criminals."
Australia's gun laws have been among the strictest in the world since the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre.
Graham Park, president of the Toowoomba-based Shooters Union - an international affiliate of the ANRA, said the group paid for billboard advertising for three One Nation candidates who offered to display them in prominent spots.
"Generally, we don't donate to parties as a whole, nor do we donate cash to individual candidates, but we do offer funding for campaign materials," he said. "The candidates to whom
we have offered such support are on the record as being supporters of legitimate firearms ownership."
A separate gun rights group, Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, is behind a campaign discouraging people from voting Labor or LNP.
The Flick 'Em campaign has run full page ads in newspapers and paid for billboards in Townsville and Rockhampton urging voters to "put the majors last".
The campaign's website - www.putthemajorslast.com.au - is registered to SIFA and lists that group's communications contact as its own.
Flick 'Em is registered to the same address as the Townsville Rifle Range and Sporting Shooters Association.