Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2589 ..
It is also my personal belief that this is legislation that still meets many of the requirements of the shooting organisations-not to mention pistol collectors-and provides adequate protection to the community at large. That is the important thing: it meets the requirements of the majority of stakeholders, but it also seeks to protect the community at large.
I believe, therefore, that this legislation will be a winning proposition. Having said all of that, I am told by the government that they have consulted widely and deeply with the major stakeholders and across the community in general. That is what Mr Wood's staff have told me and I trust, Minister, that you can assure me that you have got all the feedback and all the consultation you could possibly get. You won't necessarily get everybody's agreement
Mr Wood: We haven't had everybody's agreement.
MR PRATT: I know. But as long as you can assure this place that you have spoken to everybody you possibly can-
Mr Wood: Everybody?
MR PRATT: The major stakeholders. I have spoken to a number of stakeholders and to the police as well. The police seem satisfied with the provisions of this amended law. That gives me, and the opposition, confidence that the law will be sound. I am willing to trust the police's judgment, and we are reasonably confident about this legislation.
Some of the stakeholders within the shooting community are not exactly over the moon about this proposal. For example, they would prefer to see 0.45 calibre firearms in service and other more combat style shooting practices allowed. I can understand their disappointment. They do, after all, feel that they are being singled out to be penalised because of the reckless and illegal actions of others.
However, the reality is that more stringent control measures right across the country for all firearms are imperative. The illegal trafficking of hand guns, ammunition and other illegal substances and contraband, we must all admit, is more of a challenge to safety and law and order.
The number of desperados quite prepared to carry and recklessly use an array of prohibited and non-prohibited pistols and machine pistols is multiplying rapidly. Sensible, law-abiding sporting shooters and pistol collectors see that, and I am sure that they understand this reality. While they may be reluctant, the shooters will agree to these amendments to the Firearms Act 1996, and I commend the sporting shooters and pistol collectors for arriving at this very sensible position.
COAG is considering minor amendments to the legislation in the future to reflect possible changes to the range of shooting competitions currently available. These will be dealt with as changes to regulations and would merely reflect enhancements needed to keep Australian sports shooters up to speed with Olympic approved international shooting.