Wednesday marks 25 years since the Port Arthur Massacre, a devastating tragedy that changed the course of our country’s history forever.
Thirty-five people were killed and twenty-three others wounded when a gunman opened fire, during what remains Australia’s worst mass shooting.
Local Labor member for Fenner and gun control advocate, Dr Andrew Leigh, was studying law at university at the time when his mentor, Zoe Hall, and her boyfriend were sadly killed while visiting the historical site.
“It was a terrible tragedy and the impact just can’t be overstated.”
“I’ll be thinking about the people of Tasmania who are most affected by that terrible killing but Australia, I think, can also be proud about the way in which we tightened up our gun laws.”
Legislation introduced by the Howard Government, in the days after the attack, has helped to remove unnecessary firearms within communities and reduce the threat they pose to individual safety.
“We saw a fifth of Australia’s guns bought back two-thirds of a million weapons and the share of households with a gun dropped in half.”
In the decade prior to the massacre, Australia saw an average of one mass shooting each year compared to the decade following the tightening of the country’s gun laws with not a single mass shooting recorded.
“One of the other unexpected benefits was to reduce the number of gun suicides, because guns such a tragically effective way of ending people’s lives.”
The Prime Minister, has also taken the time to pay his respects to the lives lost during the tragedy back in 1996.
“Today we remember and send our love to all those who still bear the scars of that terrible day.”
“The families and friends of those who died; the injured, the survivors, the first responders and all those who witnessed and were impacted by the unspeakable horror of that day.”
Scott Morrison also reflected and joined the praise of former PM, John Howard’s work in implementing ‘some of the strongest gun laws in the world today, that have served to keep Australians safe.’