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“You have to hand it to John Howard”: Walter Mikac speaks after Port Arthur cabinet papers released

3AW Drive

Previously classified cabinet papers from the first two years of the Howard government have been released today, some of which include detail about the Port Arthur massacre.

In the papers, the former PM discusses his goverment’s changing of Australia’s gun laws and how he contributed the push back at the time to the rise of the One Nation party.

Walter Mikac, founder of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, lost his wife Nanette and daughters, six-year-old Alannah Mikac and three-year-old Madeline Mikac when Martin Bryant killed 35 people on 28 April 1996.

He told Nick McCallum the release of the documents brought back difficult memories.

“It certainly does rekindle certain emotions but I have to say as an Australian I am very proud that we acted as a nation,” Mr Mikac said.

“We were able to harness the emotion of that time and make the huge enactment of the national firearms agreement happen.

“You have to hand it to John Howard.

“That is conviction politics at its very best.

“It’s nearly impossible to imagine that bipartisanship in politics these days.

“I think we need to make sure the national firearms agreement doesn’t get tampered with.

“The public can never become complacent about something like this.”

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3AW Drive