Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 4442 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
which is unfortunately still in draft form; but I am happy, if it is not published, to give that to this committee for its interest. That came out of New South Wales as recently as 1995. It was prepared for the office of social policy in the New South Wales Law Foundation, and the New South Wales Cabinet was involved in that. So, it is obviously something that other parliaments consider is worth looking at, and I think it does raise very important issues about ownership and participation for the community. I welcome this reference.
MR SPEAKER: Order! It being 30 minutes after the extension of Assembly business, the debate is interrupted, in accordance with standing order 77. The resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.
Debate resumed from 3 December 1996, on motion by Mr Humphries:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Prohibited Weapons Bill 1996? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating order of the day No. 1 they may also address their remarks to order of the day No. 2.
MS FOLLETT (11.53): Mr Speaker, the Opposition will be supporting these two pieces of legislation brought forward by the Government. It is, indeed, with some pleasure that we do so. The Bills which Mr Humphries has brought forward are the final Bills which give effect to the agreements reached at the Police Ministers Conference which took place immediately after the tragic events at Port Arthur. I think it is fair to say, Mr Speaker, that, although some little time has passed since that tragedy occurred, the horror of those events, the memory of those events, has not faded, and I doubt that it ever will. So, I think it is entirely appropriate that, as a legislature which has agreed unanimously to move to restrict even further the availability and use of firearms in our community, we move again unanimously to support the legislation that has come forward.
The overall purpose of the legislation, as I said, Mr Speaker, is to reduce the availability of guns in our community and, therefore, to reduce the incidence of gun-related crime and increase community safety. Those are certainly objectives which the Labor Party supports most strenuously. I do not want to go into the detail of the Bills, because they are extremely detailed and they have also been the object of some consultation and some negotiation between the parties. In the course of my own study of the Bills, I was impressed by their comprehensiveness. Indeed, I had a great deal of difficulty in coping with the incredible number of clauses and the impact of those clauses.