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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 14 September 2017) . . Page.. 3707 ..

licence at the registered premises in the ACT. Some ACT licensees request to store their firearms at a New South Wales address. This includes, for example, ACT residents who are employed on a rural property in New South Wales and who currently have to transport their firearm over the border each day. The Firearms Registrar currently has no power to approve an application to store a firearm at an interstate place of work.

The bill amends the Firearms Act 1996 to give the registrar the ability to allow people to store their firearms in New South Wales, making storage and transport requirements easier for these Canberra residents. The Firearms Act 1996 of New South Wales already has a mechanism to allow ACT licence holders to possess and use firearms in New South Wales under its mutual recognition provisions. These provisions include giving the New South Wales Police Force the power to inspect and to prosecute breaches of firearms storage requirements.

The bill also makes several minor and technical amendments to the wording in the Firearms Act 1996 and regulation and the Prohibited Weapons Act 1996 to ensure consistency across the ACT statute book. Firearms reform should be an inclusive process and one that fosters sharing, understanding and respect for the interests of licensed firearms owners, while still maintaining the public’s confidence in strictly controlling access to firearms.

It is for this reason that I asked the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to undertake targeted consultation during the development of this bill. As well as the stakeholders who advanced their ideas for the bill, the ACT government has consulted widely on the amendments with other members of the firearms community such as licensed shooting range operators, martial arts clubs and justice stakeholders, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, the ACT Bar Association and the ACT Law Society. I thank all stakeholders who contributed to the development of the bill and who provided comments on it.

As I have previously said, the amendments in this bill reinforce the underlying principle that supports Australia’s regulation of firearms, and that is: firearms possession and use is a privilege that is conditional on the overriding need to ensure public safety. This government is committed to building safer communities in Canberra and the amendments in this bill greatly contribute to this commitment. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Jones) adjourned to the next sitting.

Nature Conservation (Minor Public Works) Amendment Bill 2017

Mr Gentleman, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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