Yesterday's massacre at Port Arthur is the worst mass killing in Australia's modern history.
Tasmanian Police Commissioner John Johnson said that previous massacres in Australia would "pale into insignificance when you look at what's happened in Tasmania this afternoon".
The death toll from yesterday's rampage also easily exceeds that of one of New Zealand's worst massacres, when a gunman shot dead 13 people at Aramoana in November 1990.
Recent mass killings in Australia and New Zealand include:
JANUARY 25, 1996: Four adults and three children shot dead in a mass murder and suicide in the Brisbane outer suburban of Hillcrest.
DECEMBER 1, 1995: Kerry-Anne McKenzie, 31, and daughters Kanome, 12, and Tamara, 6, and son Douglas, 9, died in a knife attack in the outer northern Brisbane suburb of Murrumba Downs.
JULY 9, 1995: Three people shot dead in township of Crescent Head, near Kempsey, about 1:30 am. Gunman John McGowan killed Senior Constables Robert Spears and Peter Addison, who were responding to a call over malicious damage to a car as part of a domestic dispute.
AUGUST 26, 1993: Three people shot dead when a gunman went on a morning rampage in Sydney inner-west suburbs.
FEBRUARY 22, 1993: Karen MacKenzie, 31, and her children Danny, 16, Amara, 7, and Katrina, 5, hacked to death at farmhouse at Greenough, 400 km north of Perth.
MARCH 21-31, 1993: Six people died in events surrounding the so-called Hanging Rock siege: a 14-year-old girl and a helicopter pilot killed in Queensland, three men killed near Armidale, northern NSW, after which two men holed up in a farmhouse. One surrendered and the second, Leonard Leabeater, 41, shot himself dead.
OCTOBER 27, 1992: Six people shot dead in three neighbouring town on the central coast of NSW by a sole gunman.
JUNE 26, 1992: Unemployed shearer Raymond Ratima, 25, killed seven members of his own family in the small New Zealand town of Masterton.
MAY 20, 1992: Farmer Brian Schlaepfer, 64, shot or stabbed six members of his family to death before killing himself with a shotgun in the Pukekohe area, 45 km from Auckland. The killings wiped out three generations of the family and left two girls, Kerry, 14, and Linda, 9, as orphans.
AUGUST 17, 1992 Wade Frankum killed seven (shot six and stabbed a seventh) in a shopping plaza in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield before turning his semi-automatic rifle on himself.
NOVEMBER 13, 1990: A gunman armed with eight weapons, one of them an assault rifle, killed 13 people, including four children and a police officer, in Aramoana, New Zealand. David Grey, a resident of the South Island hamlet, was later shot dead by police.
AUGUST 30, 1990: An umemployed 35-year-old killed five people with a 12-gauge shotgun in the inner Sydney suburb of Surry Hills after one of his neighbours called him a dole bludger.
DECEMBER 8, 1987: Frank Vitkovic, regarded by his friends as a wimp, slaughtered eight people in Melbourne before plunging to his death from the window of a high-rise building.
AUGUST 9, 1987: Julian Knight gunned down seven people in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill in the so-called Hoddle St massacre. He was arrested an imprisoned.
[image: "Hoddle St: The scene in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton after Julian Knight gunned down seven people on August 9, 1987, in what became known as the Hoddle St massacre." (19x11) ]