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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2000


Senator WALTERS —Mr President, I seek leave to present certain petitions.

Leave granted.

Senator WALTERS-The petitions are similar in wording, so I will read only one of them. They were signed in a rather unorthodox fashion. The petition reads:

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate assembled. The petition of the undersigned respectfully showeth:

1. That governments have a responsibility to maintain standards acceptable to society's wishes.

Senator Gareth Evans-I raise a point of order, Mr President. Could we be informed whether Senator Walters is reading her petition in this form because of some technical defect for which it is the normal practice to seek leave or is reading it in order to get the particular proposition into the record, which, I submit, if not a technical breach of Standing Orders or procedures, is certainly a breach of the spirit that we have accepted in this place?

Senator WALTERS-It is a technical defect.

The PRESIDENT-Senator Walters has been given leave to present it.

Senator WALTERS-I will start again. The petition reads:

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate assembled. The petition of the undersigned respectfully showeth:

1. That governments have a responsibility to maintain standards acceptable to society's wishes.

2. It cannot be guaranteed that X rated video material will not be viewed by children.

Your petitioners most humbly pray that the Senate, in Parliament assembled should:

Not adopt the X Classification for Films and Video Tapes, nor Category 2 for Printed Material. Further, that tighter restrictions be applied to R rated Films and Video Tapes and Category 1 Printed Material.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

It has one signature only, Mrs J. S. Adams, Deputy President--

Government senators interjecting--

Senator WALTERS-Be patient.

The PRESIDENT-Order! The honourable senator has been given leave to present a petition. The honourable senator has presented the petition.

Senator WALTERS-It is signed by the State President of the South Australian Country Women's Association.

The PRESIDENT-Order! The honourable senator is out of order.

Senator WALTERS-Could I explain? Otherwise the Senate will be--

The PRESIDENT-Order! The honourable senator sought leave to present a petition. That petition has now been presented. If the honourable senator wishes to do something further, she will have to seek leave of the Senate to do that.

Senator WALTERS-Mr President, I seek leave to explain why technically it is not correct.

Leave not granted.