Gun Law Reform
GUN LAW REFORM
The Hon. ELISABETH KIRKBY: My question is directed to the Attorney General. Will the Attorney General inform the House when the new legislation to enforce stricter gun laws in New South Wales will be introduced? Will the Minister confirm that this legislation will be introduced before Parliament rises for the winter recess so that the momentum is not lost, and so that the National Party remains together as an integrated force and does not fragment?
The Hon. J. W. SHAW: I am unable to give the assurance about the timing of the legislation sought by the honourable member. Obviously these laws must be correct and effective in improving firearms safety.
The Hon. J. F. Ryan: What about regulations?
The Hon. J. W. SHAW: There is some interjection from Opposition ranks about a regulation. The Government has acted in a timely way to deal with this matter, or at least part of this matter, by delegated legislation. That regulation provides some interim measure pending legislation. As the honourable members knows, on 10 May the Australasian Police Ministers' Council endorsed a set of resolutions put forward by the Prime Minister and agreed to by the States and Territories. Foremost amongst those resolutions was the Commonwealth's proposed ban on the importation of automatic weapons and tough controls over semiautomatic weapons. Those resolutions were reflected in Commonwealth legislation of 14 May. On the same day, as I have already indicated, to complement the Prime Minister's legislation, the New South Wales Parliament supported regulations to ban the sale and exchange of those weapons. My understanding is that all the major parties in the Legislative Assembly supported that delegated legislation.
I am able to inform the honourable member that the Commonwealth's template legislation is currently being drafted. My understanding is that the major drafting task has been undertaken by the New South Wales Parliamentary Counsel. When the Commonwealth's template legislation is finalised the Commonwealth Attorney-General and the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Board will examine the appropriateness of that draft for adoption by the States and Territories. When the Government receives the Commonwealth's approved legislation there will be consultations with the various parties to the firearms debate about the proposed bill. In the interim the Commonwealth gun amnesty will run for 12 months after the current State amnesty ends on 30 June. The Commonwealth amnesty will be supported by a buy-back of illegal weapons and those which are legal will be able to be sold or handed in.