Police chiefs should consider arming Melbourne's officers on the beat with assault rifles, lord mayor Robert Doyle has suggested.
Cr Doyle said it was "not a look I'd particularly enjoy on our streets", but after the explosion that killed 22 people leaving a pop concert in Manchester, Melbourne's general duties officers might need to carry assault weapons.
Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said he would prefer that everyday access to such weapons remained with the force's tactical unit, while Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt called for general duties officers to have "ready access" to long-arm rifles.
Mr Gatt said it doesn't necessarily mean the guns need to be carried at all times, but police should be able to access them in the event of mass shooters or terrorist attacks.
In some jurisdictions, he said, these sorts of weapons are carried in police cars.