Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003

Details:

Title

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003

Other title

Parliamentary Record 13

Collection

Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005

Date

2003-06-19

Notes

Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Language

English

Subject

Debates

Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication

Darwin

File type

application/pdf

Use

Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/278511

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/420984

Page content

DEBATES - Thursday 19 June 2003 expert on guns. I do own a gun, a .410 mm shotgun, which was used for protecting chooks when I had them. It was quite a handy gun. That is about my only experience with guns. I am a litde unsure how to start this debate. I have heard the member for Goyder, and I spoke to one of the ministers advisors about the fact that I was under the belief that the number of disciplines had not been decided. I do not know whether the minister could give me a nod to say it has been decided. M r Henderson: The Prime Ministers position is very clear. Mr WOOD: We have not received a letter yet to say it is ... Mr Henderson: We have. Mr WOOD: We have. So it is only two? Mr Henderson: It is only two. Mr WOOD: Right. So some of my wording here might have to change. Minister, I do realise this is not your legislation as such, although it is Northern Territory legislation, and I accept that you have, in your second reading speech, said that you disagree with what is happening; that the Northern Territory rules have been or are presently quite strict, and that you have been opposed to the reduction in the number of disciplines from two to five. Be that as it may, as an Independent I do not have any great leanings towards the political party that is in power in the federal government. I will not be supporting this bill, simply because the cutting down of the disciplines, even though we cannot stand alone, is a very sad thing. We have strict laws and, by cutting down the disciplines, we restrict the Arafura Games and the Masters Games. We also restrict legitimate use of hand guns under the Northern Territorys strict controls for people who want to use them for recreational purposes. I have to say, though, that it is a pity that this sort of debate has to be rushed. Again, the minister might say that it is a requirement of the federal government but, if we are having COAG meetings, we could at least say to the federal government that this is a fairly important change in legislation and ask for time to have it put through at normal pace. I find that, once again, I have to race around discussing these issues to inform myself. As I said, I am not an expert on guns, but it is my job to find out about these issues because quite a number of people in my electorate own hand guns and are part of shooting associations. I need the information, and we should have more time to find it without it having to be put through on urgency. As I said, and as the member for Goyder said, we do have strict laws. The NT Shooters Council is one of the groups by which I have been briefed. I have also been briefed by the government, and I appreciate the briefings. As the NT Shooters Council has said, one of the reasons we have stricter gun laws is because of the Monash University incident... Ms Scrymgour: And Tasmania. Mr WOOD: No, we are talking hand guns here. However, part of the problem was related to some of the slack management of pistol clubs in Victoria - the absence of probationary periods under which new members were assessed as to their suitability for membership, the means to purchase a firearm after a very short time as a member, and the means to purchase any hand gun without official scrutiny of its application to events or disciplines, to name a few. The NT Shooters Council say, in conjunction with an apparent lack of supervision or risk assessment of a member, these factors did little to obstruct the Monash incident. I am highlighting what I believe is a deficiency in the process. After this incident, I believe the Prime Minister made a statement that there needs to be more stringent controls over hand guns and this led to a meeting of the Australian Police Ministers Council, which held a special meeting on hand guns in Sydney in November last year. I ask the minister to correct me if I am wrong. I believe there would have been a COAG meeting after that, which approved the recommendations of the police, and that was presented to our parliament in the form of this bill. Then, as a matter of urgency, the bill is rushed through because it is all required to be finalised by 1 July. The reason for this is, basically, because there was a shooting at Monash and slack regulations in Victoria last year. The focus is then said to be on reducing hand guns to make our streets safer and to disadvantage criminals. If you really believe that was the case, shouldnt government just ban hand guns all together? Most people in Australia would find that unacceptable because we do have legitimate uses for hand guns. The fact is that the federal government has used legitimate sporting shooters to achieve these goals by tightening up on licensing requirements and restricting the types of guns used. However, is the real problem about poorly regulated sporting shooting clubs and the criminal use of guns? If so, that is perhaps where more of the emphasis should have been. It highlights the fact that there has been a breakdown in the process. Why werent those 4410


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