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Tuesday, 29 October 1996
Page: 5979

Mr GARETH EVANS —My question is addressed to the Attorney-General. Is it the stated aim of the government's gun control advertising to persuade a primary audience of gun owners to surrender illegal firearms? If so, I ask how the Attorney justifies pursuing a particular campaign proposal of which the government's own researchers said:

It received the most negative response of all.


It will generate considerable non-compliance and forces gun owners to take a stand.

Has he further seen the response of one survey respondent to the DDB Needham `bite the bullet' theme who said:

I have seen that phrase. It is a well-used phrase for all sorts of things, but to me as shooter it turns me right off. It means anti-gun control.

I repeat: why is the government pursuing a particular campaign that is likely to encourage people to keep illegal weapons, which is precisely contrary to the stated policy objective of your campaign?

Mr Pyne —Mr Speaker, I rise on point of order. I refer you to standing order 146, which says that a question fully answered cannot be renewed. I put it to you this question has already been asked today.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order.

Mr WILLIAMS —I am beginning to think that the opposition does not want the gun campaign to succeed. The government is committed to the best possible campaign. The committee that was constituted to select the advertising consultants and the public relations consultants was committed to selecting the best people to do the job in a complementary fashion. Just because somebody has written something that does not accord with what you believe should be the best result is not to the point.

The people who made the selection thought they had picked the best people to do the best job. It is an ambulatory campaign which will be based on ongoing research. It is not committed to a particular type of campaign at a particular time. It is going to change as time changes. The first advertisement was a broad-based information set of advertisements in June. The second set of advertisements is more specialised in gun owners' magazines and is currently ongoing. Soon it is to be television. It is to be monitored and it is aimed at gun owners, exactly as the campaign was intended to be. The people selected to do the job are the best people in the view of the committee to do it.