MEDIA RELEASE: Don't ban radar detectors

WA Liberal Democrats Leader Aaron Stonehouse has today condemned the Government for introducing a bill to ban the use of radar detectors in Western Australia, saying that “this is blatant and outright highway robbery”.

“The evidence shows that drivers are more likely to slow down if they know that there’s a speed camera lurking on the horizon,” said Aaron Stonehouse MLC.

“Radar detectors provide drivers with a greater degree of situational awareness, and thus an appreciation of the risks around them.

“I can’t help but think that this is yet another attempt by the Government to get their grubby hands on more revenue for the state’s coffers, and to fund whatever may be their next pet project,” said Mr Stonehouse.

Mr Stonehouse also criticised the scope of the legislation, which allows WA Police to ban the use of any device within vehicles, saying that “the potential for overreach is staggering”.

“We could just as easily see other devices and applications banned, such as speed limit indicators, GoPros on bikes, and Waze navigation on dashboards.

“Western Australians should be incredibly wary of any type of arrangement that hands over so much power to unelected public servants.

“At least with politicians, you can sack them. With the police, you can’t. And once you hand over your rights to them, you may have a tough time getting them back,” said Mr Stonehouse.

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MEDIA RELEASE: My statement on the CCC probe

I am deeply concerned over revelations that top public servants in Western Australia have trawled through the emails of former Members of Parliament.

Members of Parliament cannot do their job properly, if we have looming over our head, the threat of unelected bureaucrats reading our emails to and from constituents.

The bigger issue is that the affairs of Members of Parliament in Western Australia are managed by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

In most other states in Australia, that’s done by a dedicated Department of Parliamentary Services. That’s exactly what we need in Western Australia.

There is an obvious potential for a conflict of interest when the people who are running the state, are able to access the emails of those who, like me, are meant to hold them to account.

One of the roles of Parliament is to act as a check and balance against the executive. That doesn’t really work when agents of the executive go through the emails of MPs.

Every now and again, someone would tell me that they have some important information to share with me, but that they’re worried about it being intercepted.

I would say, ‘Don’t worry. Send it to me via email. It’s all protected by parliamentary privilege’.

I can’t say that anymore, can I?

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MEDIA RELEASE: My statement on the 9 News Perth kerfuffle

One of the things that separates Australia from despotic nations is the freedom of the press. You can’t chip away at that, and expect things to remain the same.

Political censorship is a very dangerous and slippery slope. One moment you’re censoring a news story, the next moment you could be denying a permit to rally.

I urge the Government to step forward and provide the people of Western Australia with a degree of qualification about why exactly they sought this injunction against 9 News Perth.

There may be a completely legitimate explanation for the Government’s actions. But, they need to be cognisant that we live in an age where distrust towards politicians is at an all-time high.

This injunction could cause more harm than good: as people jump to their own conclusions about what may or may not be happening.

For that reason, I urge the Government to meet me in the middle, and to provide the public with a bit more information about what’s happening behind the scenes.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Turf war verges on madness - Stonehouse

Member for South Metropolitan Region, Aaron Stonehouse wrote today to the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Rockingham to protest the proposed ban on the use of synthetic verges across the city.

“It’s hard to believe that in this day and age, the Council wants to impose such a level of control and planning over its ratepayers,” said Mr Stonehouse.

“Synthetic turf does not represent a hazard for tripping if it’s properly installed. And better yet, it allows water to irrigate the underlying soil.

“Many homeowners in my electorate have installed this type of landscaping, and many business owners rely on it to make ends meet.

“A ban would not only cause financial hardship, it would potentially put local people out of work. That should be a real and pressing concern for the Council.

“I’ve called upon the Council to amend its policy to allow the installation of synthetic turf on verges, on the clear understanding that the home owner remains liable for any repair or removal costs should access for services be required.

“I will always advocate for personal choice and personal responsibility. That combination is a sure-fire way to end this local turf war once and for all,” said Mr Stonehouse.

The City of Rockingham delayed a vote on the future of synthetic turf treatments at its March and April meetings, but is now expected to debate the subject at its next meeting on 28 May 2019.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Swan Valley church ban is completely insane – Stonehouse

I really shouldn’t have to say this, but the proposed ban on the construction of new churches and other places of worship, in the Swan Valley, is completely insane.

You may think that organised religion is funny and goofy. Fine, you’re allowed to think that. But, to ban other people from catering for their religious practises is North Korea-levels of crazy.

There’s something fundamentally totalitarian about a mayor of a city saying that there’s enough suppliers of a particular good or service in their city.

Who is the Mayor to decide whether or not there’s enough of something in their city? It’s people who build churches, and its people who decide whether or not they are needed.

It’s moments like these when Australians need to have a long hard think about the type of country we are becoming, and ask themselves: do we value religious freedom or do we not?

If we value religious freedom, then the Premier and every other community leader in Western Australia should come out and condemn this proposal.

I will do some research about how the City is proposing to carry out this ban, and if it is through a by-law or a regulation, I will move a disallowance motion in the upper house to block it.

When new migrants take the oath of allegiance, they promise to respect and uphold the democratic beliefs, rights and liberties of Australia.

The Mayor of Swan is failing to uphold the very oath that he oversees at citizenship ceremonies, and he should seriously consider whether he is the right person for the job.

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MEDIA RELEASE: I’m ready to rock and roll – Stonehouse

WA Liberal Democrats MP Aaron Stonehouse has today outlined his legislative agenda for 2019, saying that he’s ready to rock and roll, and to add a few wins to his name.

“2019 will be the culmination of a number of things that I’ve been working on for the past 18 months,” said Aaron Stonehouse MLC, WA Liberal Democrats MP.

“I’ll be introducing a bill to legalise airsoft. Most people don’t know what that is, but a lot of my supporters care about it, and I’m happy to make it a reality.

“My nanny state inquiry will be wrapping up in August, and it will be producing a report for the Government with recommendations about vaping, car mods and bike helmets.

“I’ll be tabling a petition to parliament to legalise vaping. If the nanny state inquiry supports that outcome, then it should give the Government something to think about.

“Euthanasia is obviously a big one. More and more people are realising that it’s about human dignity, and not about offing old people, and I’m pleased that the Government is demonstrating leadership on this issue, and is allowing for a meaningful debate.

“I’ll likely try and do something on self-defence. Western Australians have a legal right to self-defence but have no practical ability to exercise that right. This needs to change.

“My political party, Liberal Democrats WA, will also be launching a policy platform. I can’t give too much away, but the catchphrase will be, ‘lower taxes, individual responsibility, and small government’,” said Aaron Stonehouse MLC, WA Liberal Democrats MP.

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