PM deals with Woodridge violence

Date

4BC News: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has flagged a new national approach to deal with violence in suburban Australia.

Ms Gillard told a cybersafety launch in Sydney on Wednesday she was concerned about two violent incidents in recent days including a confrontation in Woodridge, south of Brisbane, and a fatal shooting in Sydney's southwest.

She said people who lived in suburban parts of the country deserved to live in an environment where they felt safe and secure.

"Whilst these questions are always principally for state governments and for our police authorities they do concern me," Ms Gillard said.

While state police were doing an "incredibly tough job in very difficult circumstances" the federal government also had a role to play.

"At this time all levels of government need to be doing everything that can be done to address this violence," Ms Gillard said.

She has asked Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare to prepare for cabinet some options to address the violence and to explore the limits of the federal government's legal and constitutional responsibilities.

"We will be working through that because I am very concerned about the circumstances for communities in Sydney's west and more broadly."

Law and order was also an issue at the 2010 federal election.

During that campaign Labor launched a policy of new controls on dangerous weapons such as knuckledusters, electronic shock devices and flick knives.

The coalition promised a national database of violent gangs to track the activities of such groups around the country.

At that time, a series of knife attacks and gangland wars were in the headlines.

The prime minister's office had no further detail about the proposed strategy.

Comment was being sought from Mr Clare.

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