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Prime Minister to visit Gippsland

Gippsland residents will have a first hand opportunity to hear the Prime Minister explain the need for new gun controls, when he visits the region on Sunday.

Mr Howard has accepted an invitation from Gippsland National Party Member, Peter McGauran, to address a public meeting in Sale.

"In the wake of the Port Arthur tragedy, the Federal Government responded quickly and responsibly to improve the future safety of all Australians," Mr McGauran said.

"Last month's landmark agreement by Federal and State Police Ministers to restrict firearm ownership has the overwhelming support of the public and other major political parties.

"However, understandably, the decision has not been easy for law-abiding gun owners, whose concerns about the new controls have been compounded by misinformation.

"Sunday's meeting is an open invitation to all residents and provides an important opportunity for the public to hear what measures are being put in place and why.

"The Prime Minister's decision to visit Gippsland also proves the Federal Government has not turned a deaf ear to the concerns of responsible gun owners," Mr McGauran said.

The meeting will be held at the Sale Football Ground, on the corner of McCarthur and Gutheridge streets at 11.30am on Sunday June 16.

Mr McGauran will be available for interview after 8-30 tonight on 051 992 512

For further information: Carmel Christensen, 06 2777 660; 018 624 082