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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 1645

Senator MURPHY (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. In the light of the increasing number of attacks on public figures around the world, including the latest attempted assassination of Governor Wallace, will the AttorneyGeneral say what steps he has taken to achieve rigid control over firearms in Australia? Will the Attorney-General investigate the possibility of the Commonwealth legislating to the full extent of its power, preferably in co-operation with the States, for strict control over firearms to prevent similar gun attacks in Australia?

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - I am sure we all deplore, as Senator Murphy said, the attacks on public figures - not only around the world but also closer to home. We can only hope that what has occurred elsewhere will not happen in Australia. I certainly am interested in what Senator Murphy said with respect to the control of firearms. Generally speaking, we have a very much tighter control over firearms in this country than exists in many other countries. However, it is not a matter directly within my portfolio, and I will consult with the relevant Minister to see what progress has been made in discussions with the States. Senator Murphy will be aware that the control of firearms directly is a matter within the legislative responsibility of the States, that conditions in each State differ, and that this has ied to a different approach being adopted, at least initially, by the various State authorities. However, I am sure we all share the honourable senator's interest in this matter. I will ensure that my colleague the Minister for Customs and Excise is informed.

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