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Thursday, 22 August 1996
Page: 2903

Senator BOURNE(11.29 a.m.) —On behalf of all my parliamentary colleagues and probably the entire general membership of the Australian Democrats, I am happy to support the National Firearms Program Implementation Bill 1996. The passage of the bill will take Australia just one step closer to fully implementing the resolutions of the police ministers' special meeting on firearms on 10 May. In relation to those resolutions, I would agree with Senator Bolkus that all agreements on levels of Commonwealth funding for compensation must be honoured by the Commonwealth. I, too, would be interested in hearing the response by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, Senator Vanstone, to that.

The Democrats have always supported tighter gun control. We have long called for the adoption of many of the measures which are now in the process of being implemented—and this bill will be part of that. We welcome the move to tighter uniform gun legislation. We congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr Howard), and, indeed, all our federal leaders, who are showing such a united front in support of gun control, as well as the state and territory premiers and all those other Australians who have worked so hard to ensure that these essential reforms are adopted. In conclusion, we are pleased to support the bill.