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Thursday, 7 June 1984
Page: 2715

Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General) —by leave-Because we have a healthy appreciation of the numerical realities in this chamber, the Government does not oppose this motion. However I indicate formally that the Government does not accept that a full scale joint select committee inquiry of the kind here proposed is either necessary or desirable at this stage. Very full attention has been paid in this Parliament and its committees in recent weeks to the analysis of the relevant legislation now in force, and we believe it is too early to gauge the practical operation and effectiveness of that legislation. The Government accepts that there is a need to generate good quality research about the effects particularly on children of exposure to violent and pornographic material and to monitor the way in which the legislation is working . We are currently considering ways in which that research and monitoring can best take place and it may be that in due course there will be some role that a parliamentary committee can usefully play, but we believe that to establish a full dress parliamentary inquiry of the kind proposed at this stage is premature . For that reason we indicate our opposition to the course proposed, although we will not pursue that opposition to the point of a division at this stage.