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Tuesday, 18 June 1996
Page: 1743

(Question No. 26)


Senator Jones asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, upon notice, on 23 April 1996:

With reference to the meeting in March 1996 of the Senior Officers' Group of the Australasian Police Ministers' Council (APMC) to discuss implementation of uniform gun laws throughout Australia:

(1) How many interest groups responded to the working paper on gun laws released following the APMC meeting in Launceston, Tasmania, in November 1995.

(2) In brief terms what was the response to the working paper and what suggestions from these groups will be considered by the APMC.

(3) Has the Council met to discuss uniform gun laws since the November 1995 meeting; if so, what was the outcome of any discussion.

(4) What is the gun law agenda to be discussed by the APMC at its scheduled meeting in May 1996.

(5) Will the Government seek assurances from the State Governments that gun law proposals endorsed by the APMC are followed up with uniform legislation in each State.


Senator Vanstone —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) At the national level 16 interest groups—drawn from all States and Territories—were consulted and responded to the working paper. Interest groups such as the Shooting Sports Council of Victoria, Firearms Dealers Association, Tasmanian Firearms Owners Association, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and the Shooters Party were involved. Additionally, each jurisdiction also consulted with interest groups at the local level. The outcome of these consultations were incorporated into the working paper.

(2) The responses by interest groups to the working paper varied from supportive to negative. All responses were taken into account in preparing the Commonwealth proposals for the APMC meeting on 10 May 1996.

(3) Following the tragic events at Port Arthur, the APMC held a Special Firearms Meeting in Canberra on 10 May 1996 to discuss proposals for effective nationwide control of firearms. The Commonwealth and the States and Territories agreed upon a series of resolutions for the effective nationwide control of firearms. Copies of the resolutions have been provided to all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(4) The APMC is scheduled to meet again in July 1996. It is expected that this meeting will provide an opportunity for Ministers to detail their jurisdiction's progress in implementing the resolutions Council agreed to on 10 May 1996.

(5) At the Special Firearms Meeting, Council agreed to minimum standards in relation to firearms control which will be applied in each jurisdiction. All jurisdictions agreed that necessary amendments to legislation/regulations will be completed as soon as possible.