Bail laws and restrictions on illegal firearms will be tightened further in response to the events that led to the Martin Place Siege, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant announced today.
In February 2015, the NSW Government accepted all 17 recommendations of the Martin Place Siege Review and committed to a number of additional actions in relation to bail and illegal firearms.
Implementation of the recommendations is under way and the initiatives announced today will help prevent a tragedy like the Siege ever happening again.
“Public safety is the number one priority for this government and that is why we are implementing tough additional protections on bail and illegal firearms," Mr Baird said.
“We are sending a very clear message that incitement of fear and violence will not be tolerated.”
Under the changes, bail will be refused (unless there are exceptional circumstances) where the accused is charged with an offence that carries a custodial sentence and:
- is a person in relation to whom a terrorism control order has been made;
- is on bail for, and/or has previously been convicted of, a Commonwealth terrorism offence, including being a foreign fighter; and/or
- is on bail for, is currently charged with, and/or has previously been convicted of, being a member of a terrorist organisation under s310J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
In addition, the following factors must now be taken into account as part of the ‘unacceptable risk’ test for bail:
- an accused person’s links to terrorist organisations;
- an accused person’s statements or actions advocating support for terrorist activities and/or violent extremism; and/or
- an accused person’s association or affiliation with persons or groups who advocate support for terrorist activities and/or violent extremism.
Mr Grant said the Government is taking strong action to keep the community safe.
"Along with our changes to bail, we will change our gun laws to create much tougher penalties for illegal gun possession,” Mr Grant said.
“The new firearms laws directly target the criminals using illegal firearms to commit violent crimes.”
A new offence will be created for the possession of a stolen firearm, which will carry a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Additionally, consistent maximum penalties of at least 14 years' imprisonment will be introduced for offences relating to unauthorised possession, use, supply, or acquisition of firearms where the firearm involved is a pistol, a prohibited firearm, or is defaced, unregistered or stolen.
Mr Grant also announced the creation of an Illegal Firearms Investigation and Reward Scheme, which will offer rewards of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person for possession of an illegal firearm, and additional funding for police investigations, including undercover operations.
Other measures to reduce illegal firearms in NSW include a ban on the possession of digital blueprints that enable firearms to be manufactured using 3D printers and milling machines for anyone without an appropriate licence.