Page 2774 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008

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(Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. Schedule 2 of those customs regulations covers goods such as warfare items, various bladed goods, hand-to-hand combat and martial arts weapons, incapacitation devices and security law enforcement equipment.

The intention is to make sure that our prohibited weapons align with those weapons that are prohibited from importation into the country, and I think that makes sense. The goods covered in the customs regulations and the ACT Prohibited Weapons Act are based on the uniform prohibited weapons list which was developed at the 37th meeting of the Australasian Police Ministers Council in 1993. That list was formulated in order to deliver the greatest possible consistency between the commonwealth, states and territories.

New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory currently prohibit trench knives and require individuals who wish to own these items to obtain a permit. In that respect, our approach is consistent with those other jurisdictions. As with 28-day waiting periods for permits to acquire, there is a degree of inconvenience for law-abiding citizens engaged in legitimate pursuits and interests, but I stress here once again the importance of ensuring that these dangerous items do not fall into the wrong hands or are lost track of in the community.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (6.56): The amendment that Mr Stefaniak has put forward proposes to allow for the issuing, as he said, of a special collectors permit for collections and weapons that form part of a genuine antique, heritage or historical collection. He has, in his amendment, addressed the issue of having conditions that those permits are subjected to and requiring that the registrar review the collectors permits at least every five years.

This seems to be a reasonable addition to the range of licensing instruments that can be issued by the registrar. I find it a bit strange that the attorney says what he has in mind will make it consistent with other jurisdictions, whereas all afternoon we have been hearing a whole lot of excuses as to why things should not be in line with other jurisdictions. So it seems that one minute it suits us to be in line and another time it does not suit us to be in line.

As to the alignment with the Australian customs area, I will not get too distracted on that but I am not absolutely convinced that the listing and the approach of Australian customs in this area is entirely sensible. I have seen examples of where they have really gone to extremes in relation to toys and souvenirs that they have impounded from people. I am aware of an instance only last year that was completely over the top. So I am not entirely sure that that was a biblical truth in terms of it being an appropriate listing approach. It may be down to interpretation and whether that should be directing how the ACT governs its affairs. You are either consistent with other jurisdictions or you throw it out the door and run your own race. Ultimately, these matters are the responsibility of ministers, but the officials probably have a bit of explaining to do, as to why they have not been able to reach outcomes with their interstate colleagues to get some measure of uniformity in an area such as this. It has been such a topical issue in Australia since the terrible events in 1996.

Yes, we have made progress. I looked at the Australian criminology institute’s reports recently. I went through them in great detail about the level or otherwise of the use of

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