New South Wales Premier Mike Baird is unveiling changes to state bail and firearms law as part of the government’s response to the Martin Place siege.
The measures will ensure that those under a terrorism control order, have previously been convicted of a Commonwealth terrorism offence or previously been convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation will be denied bail in all but extraordinary cases.
“We are introducing new laws to ensure that, except in the most exceptional circumstances, anyone with links to terrorism or violent extremism, including returned foreign fighters, will be refused bail.”
The siege took place at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place on December 15 last year after Iranian-born gunman Man Haron Monis held 17 people hostage overnight for more than 13 hours.
It resulted in the death of cafe manager Tori Johnson who was shot by Monis with a pump action shotgun and barrister Katrina Dawson who was struck by fragments of police bullets.
In addition to bail changes, tougher penalties for illegal gun possession have also been introduced.
“The new firearms laws directly target the criminals using illegal firearms to commit violent crimes,” said Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant.
Earlier this year, the Commonwealth-NSW review into the Sydney siege reignited the gun law debate in Australia after it was found that Monis used a “grey market” firearm. He had at no time been issued a firearms license nor had he legally owned or imported a firearm.
The new offence will target those with unauthorised possession, use, supply, or acquisition of firearms and will carry a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
“In the uncharted world of lone-wolf terrorism we will always face a degree of risk. But we can reduce this risk by introducing tough new laws that ensure there are fewer dangerous people on our streets who would find it harder to access illegal firearms,” said Baird.
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