Numerous Australian media outlets have reported that the New South Wales legislature is opening up the budget to accommodate patrol rifles within NSW Police Force patrol officers. This would mean that similar to a number of Law Enforcement entities in the United States, the “cop on the beat” would not only have access to his sidearm, but also a 5.56x45mm NATO rifle in his vehicle if need be. Already picked is an AR15 platform rifle, however who the supplier will be is unknown at the current time. Some articles mentioned acquiring Colt or Armswest LLC AR15s, however, this has to be out of more speculation than anything legitimate. The operational need for these changes was brought into play by the Cafe Lindt siege in late 2014, but was further pushed by events such as the Paris attacks and recent active shooter events in the United Kingdom. Australian Law Enforcement is very similar to their British counterparts in that the patrol officers are not armed with long guns as their standard operating procedure (most British cops don’t even have firearms). Thus, when dealing with an active or barricaded shooter, British and Australian LE officers are often at a threat disadvantage due to the small arms involved.
The use of lethal force has changed also, but that’s a political realm I don’t want to touch. However, I will leave this paragraph here, from an RoE perspective-
The NSW coroner who investigated the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege found snipers had a 10-minute window during which they could have taken a kill shot at Man Haron Monis but they weren’t sure of their legal justification to use lethal force.
The video below from the Bataclan Theater massacre shows this dynamic brilliantly. In that, you have brave Law Enforcement personnel trying to do their best to just barely contain the situation because of the severe disadvantage of their handguns versus the attacker’s rifles.