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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1239

Senator HARRADINE —Mr Deputy President, I claim to have been misrepresented by the previous speaker.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I call Senator Harradine.

Senator HARRADINE —My name was specifically used by the previous speaker, Senator Jack Evans, as having misled the Parliament and the people in my understanding of the operation of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations. Senator Jack Evans stated that those regulations did not cover videos-that is, old regulation 4A did not cover videos-and that nothing was contained in the previous regulations which would prevent the importation of hard core pornography.

Senator Jack Evans —That is not so. I did not say any such thing.

Senator HARRADINE —The fact is that he did say it. He said that the Customs ( Prohibited Imports) Regulations did not cover videos. Regulation 4A (2) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations, the old regulation, states: 'in effect , that the importation of goods to which the regulation applies is prohibited unless permission, in writing, is obtained from the Attorney-General'. Those goods are described in the regulation. Goods is a generic term and, of course, includes videos. Therefore, it cannot be said that I misled anybody when I said that the previous regulations applied equally to videos as they did to anything else.

Senator Mason —But they were ineffective, weren't they?

Senator HARRADINE —They were ineffective only because the Attorney-General told the Customs officers to turn a blind eye to the blatant breaches of that regulation.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! I explained to you today that when you claim to have been misrepresented you must merely make clear what you actually said that was misrepresented and not debate the issue.

Senator HARRADINE —Thank you, Mr Deputy President. The second thing about which it was stated that I had somehow misled people was that the previous regulations provided a barrier to the importation of hard core pornography. Of course, that is true. The previous regulations did provide a barrier against the importation of hard core pornography, otherwise the circular of the Attorney-General's Department of February this year is inexplicable. It stated:

Barriers to the importation of hard core pornography . . . have been lifted.

Senator McIntosh —Point of order, Mr Deputy President. Senator Harradine is now debating the issue. He was asked to make his explanation of where he thought he was misrepresented. He should have done so and finished at that. He is cutting out the time of the next speaker.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Senator Harradine, I have made clear several times that when senators claim to have been misrepresented they must confine themselves to making clear what they actually meant to say or did say and no more than that. They should not open a new debate on the issue. Do you have anything to add to what you have said?

Senator HARRADINE —I have made the position perfectly clear that what I have said is correct and what the Democrats are saying is not correct; they do not understand it.