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PM Abbott must explain Coalition softening on illegal weapons

Senate inquiry finds more needs to be done to address gun crime...

A Senate investigation into illegal firearms has today recommended more funding for law enforcement agencies to tackle gun crime in Australia.

The inquiry, initiated by Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright, found a lack of quality data and national inconsistencies were hampering efforts to understand the black market.

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Legal aid reversal welcome, but just the start

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright says the Government should not stop at reversing cuts to the legal assistance sector, but look at increasing funding in the upcoming budget.

"Legal assistance services were operating on a shoe-string budget before the Attorney-General's cuts," Senator Wright said.

"Today's policy reversal is extremely welcome, but this should only be the beginning. The Productivity Commission's recent report said $200 million more was required just to address urgent need."

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Liberal, Labor knock back urgent bid to save community legal services

The Labor and Liberal parties have today voted against a Senate motion to increase funding for community legal services, as centres across the country turn clients away amid funding uncertainty.

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said she was extremely disappointed the Government and Opposition had voted against the Greens motion to increase funding for the sector in the upcoming Federal Budget.

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Old parties close ranks in Oil for Food inquiry

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:14): I rise as the chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee to speak to the tabling of this report into the work undertaken by the Australian Federal Police's oil for food task force. Firstly, I would like to place on record my thanks to the legal and constitutional affairs committee secretariat, so competently led by the committee secretary, Ms Sophie Dunstone, for their support to the committee throughout this inquiry.

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Greens condemn NT Government's gun giveaway

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright says the Northern Territory Government's shotgun raffle is completely inappropriate.

Senator Wright, who is currently chairing a Senate inquiry into illicit firearms, said even though the gun would go to a licenced shooter, it was surprising the NT Government would offer a weapon as a prize to hunters to putting their permit returns.

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Mandatory minimums wrong way to address gun crime

The Australian Greens have urged the Labor Party to remain strong in opposing mandatory minimum sentences for gun trafficking, saying the Abbott Government's legislation would not make Australians safer.

Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson and chair of a current Senate inquiry into illicit firearms Senator Penny Wright said there was no evidence mandatory minimum sentences were effective and tackling gun crime required a more sophisticated approach.

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