Thursday, 21 June 2012
I, and also on behalf of Senator Wright, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) uniform gun laws were introduced across all states and territories following the ground-breaking work undertaken by the former Prime Minister, Mr Howard, in the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre,
(ii) the New South Wales Government has sponsored a two-day ‘Shot Expo’ that promotes guns, knives and pistols, in conjunction with firearm manufacturers, including Beretta, a weapons supplier to the former Gaddafi regime, and
(iii)the New South Wales Government has given its support to a longstanding Shooter and Fishers Party plan to allow recreational hunting with firearms in designated New South Wales national parks;
(b) condemns the New South Wales Government’s plans to allow recreational hunting with firearms in its national parks; and
(c) calls on:
(i) the Federal Government to support the adoption of a global arms trade treaty at the United Nations, and
(ii) the Attorney-General (Ms Roxon) to take the steps required to strengthen uniformity of Australian gun laws.
The government does not support this motion. We do not intend to conduct Commonwealth-state relations by way of Senate motion. Through the negotiation of the arms trade treaty, Australia is working with other countries to create an international legal framework establishing the highest possible standards for the trade in conventional arms. The government is also committed to addressing gun crime across Australia and to improving the consistency of national firearm laws. The Commonwealth will work with state and territory colleagues at next week's meeting of police ministers on a range of recommendations covering legislative and operational changes and improvements to information and intelligence.
I seek leave to make some remarks for two minutes.
I was interested to hear the remarks of the earlier speaker. The motion that we have before us takes into account a number of matters with regard to the worrying trend where we are seeing gun culture becoming increasingly dominant within Australia. Sadly, this was demonstrated in quite an ugly way in the New South Wales parliament last night, when the Shooters and Fishers Party MP Robert Brown said to the Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham:
Unfortunately, we are in a modern era so I cannot take you outside and beat you to death.
That is appalling behaviour, and in the context of this debate, where we need to look to strengthen our gun laws and ensure public safety is the prime factor here, the Premier of New South Wales should add his voice of condemnation to Mr Brown's threat.