On Sunday 28 April 1996 at approximately 1 pm, a gunman used a military style weapon to kill 20 people in the Broad Arrow Cafe at the historic site of Port Arthur in Tasmania. The gunman then killed a further 15 people within Port Arthur and the nearby region and injured 21 others. He secured himself in a local guest house for a period while police attempted negotiations. The gunman then set fire to the building and later emerged, with burn injuries, to be taken into police custody. There was a significant coordinated multi-agency emergency response to the event including Tasmania Police, Tasmanian Ambulance Service, Tasmania Fire Service, State Emergency Service Tasmania and other agencies. Approximately 690 emergency service personnel were involved in the response. The Royal Hobart Hospital also activated emergency procedures to manage the large number of injured victims. Considerable recovery operations were undertaken to assist the thousands of people affected by the event.
The economic impact of the massacre at Tasmania's most popular tourist attraction was substantial, including physical restoration of impacted sites, counselling and compensation, loss of tourism revenue and the flow on loss of jobs to the Tasman Peninsula.