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Thursday, 28 August 1997
Page: 7370

(Question No. 1743)


Mr Campbell asked the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, upon notice, on 26 June 1997:

(1) How long is it taking to facilitate payments to persons who have surrendered firearms in each State.


Mr Williams —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Officers of my Department have consulted with the Coordinators of the buyback scheme in each jurisdiction, who have provided the following advice.

Australian Capital Territory

Firearms identified in the Commonwealth Government's Firearms Price List ("the Price List") are grouped together in batches of 50 and forwarded to the appropriate area for despatch of compensation cheques. The average time from date of surrender to receipt of cheque is 21 days, however some cheques have been received within 7 days.

A firearm not identified in the Price List is placed in store for valuation. An independent valuer, from Sydney, travels to Canberra each month to identify and value firearms. The average turn around time is between 4-7 weeks, depending on the time the firearm was surrendered in the cycle. These firearms account for approximately 20% of all firearms surrendered.

New South Wales

Payment for firearms surrendered at Police stations is received in approximately 21 days.

Firearms owners surrendering firearms at mobile centres receive payment on the spot for firearms identified in the Price List. If a firearm is required to be identified and valued, payment is received in approximately 21 days.

Northern Territory

All payments in Darwin and Alice Springs are made at the time of surrender. At other centres, payment is made by mail within five days from the receipt of the valuation in Darwin.

Queensland

At collection centres:

.   Firearm owners surrendering firearms identified in the Price List receive a cheque at the time of surrender.

.   A firearm owner surrendering a firearm not identified in the Price List, but who is able to produce a valuation from a licensed dealer at that time, will receive a cheque on the spot if the Valuation Panel agrees to the dealer's valuation.

.   If the owner does not have a dealer valuation, the gun is valued by the Valuation Panel and a cheque is issued within 21 days.

At Police Stations:

.   Firearm owners handing in firearms to a Police Station in Queensland may wait a maximum of 6 weeks for payment.

South Australia

Buyback scheme ceased on 28 February 1997.

Tasmania

At urban centres, owners surrendering firearms identified in the Price List receive a cheque at the time of surrender. At regional centres, firearms owners receive a cheque within 14 days.

Firearms owners surrendering firearms that are require to be identified and valued will receive a cheque within 21 days.

Victoria

Firearm owners surrendering firearms identified in the Price List receive a cheque at the time of surrender.

If a firearm is required to be identified and valued by the Valuation Panel, the individual attends the valuation and if price is agreed, receives a cheque at that time.

Western Australia

Compensation payments in Western Australia are forwarded to gun owners within six weeks. The average is approximately 28 days.