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Thursday, 20 June 1996
Page: 1929

Senator BOLKUS(1.33 p.m.) —One of the issues that will obviously impact on the number of guns that will be bought back is the question of whether crimping is possible and irreversible. I anticipate that Senator Short will not know the answer to this question, but it is one that we do want a fairly quick answer to.

Just the other day, the Prime Minister asserted that the crimping and modification of firearms to make them circumvent the ban was something that was not acceptable to him, because the crimping was reversible. However, the government has a committee which has asserted the contrary. Could you make available to the Senate the advice on which the Prime Minister has made his assessment? I do not know whether I can ask for advice which a party committee has before it, but I can ask for and expect advice that the Prime Minister might have had before him in terms of making his assessment.

It is an important issue, because to the extent that the Prime Minister's position is sustainable—once again, we hope it is, and we support him in his assertion—it is very important for the community to know what advice the Prime Minister is acting on here. Senator Short, I know you will take this one on notice as well, but it is important to stress at this particular stage that a lot of this information should be available and should have been available. We hope the Attorney can provide it to us by the start of business on Monday.