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Democrats call for national gun laws

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Senator Cheryl Kernot A ustralian D em o crats Parliamentary Leader

22 March, 1996__________ MEDIA RELEASE 96/186


The Australian Democrats’ Senate team today endorsed calls for national gun laws, following the tragic shooting yesterday of a mother-of-four outside the Parramatta Family Court. ■

At a party meeting in Melbourne, the Democrats agreed to push for uniform gun controls and for teleconferencing to be introduced in the Family Court.

Senator Kernot said both the Prime Minister John Howard-and-Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer had supported improvements to gun laws. (See attached articles.)

“How many more women will die and how many more children left as orphans before we do something about gun control?", she said.

“I'm of the view that we should ban guns altogether in metropolitan areas but, a s a minimum, we should at least have national gun laws, including a national register of firearms."

Currently each state has its own laws a s there is no national legislation or agency with responsibility for firearms, estimated to be between 3.5 million and 5 million. Queensland, New South W ales and Tasmania do not require firearm registration.

Senator Kernot called on the Federal Government to enact national gun laws.-The party room meeting also agreed to move an amendment to next year’s budget so that the Family Law Courts have the funds necessary to introduce teleconferencing.

This would ensure that people would not be forced to appear in person during Family Court hearings.

The party room also agreed to support a Senate Committee inquiry into the granting of Melbourne's casino licence, unless the Victorian Government calls a royal commission into the matter before Federal Parliament resumes on April 30.

Senator Kernot and the Democrats1 legal affairs spokesman Senator Sid Spindler said sufficient concerns had been raised about the issuing of the casino licence to warrant a Senate investigation. They today released proposed terms of reference for the Senate


They rejected claims that the Senate did not have the jurisdiction to investigate state matters.

Keep the Bastards Honest : AUSTRALI AN



Senator Cheryl Kernot A ustralian D em ocrats Parliamentary Leader

22 March, 1996_____________________________ PAGE_-2-

Senator Kemot said previous Senate Committee hearings, including the Metway Bank, the Eastlink power link and the Whistleblowers inquiries were either initiated or supported by the Coalition and investigated matters involving state governments.

She said: Ί hope the Federal Government’s opposition to any Senate inquiry is not an indication of how quickly hypocrisy can set in after gaining government.”

Senator Spindler said the absence of a strong and accountable Upper House in Victoria made it necessary for Senate-ta carry-out a watch-dog role on boholfof Victorian citizens.

“Questions raised regarding the issuing of the Melbourne casino licence must be investigated and if Premier Kennett fails to set up_ao inquiry .Jbe Democcats=wiltcertainly take action in the Senate,” Senator Spindler said.

To arrange com m ent, contact: Cheryl Thurlow (07) 3844 3696 or 0418 630 137.

Keep the Bastards Honest AUSTRALIAN