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Wednesday, 17 October 1984
Page: 1846


Senator GARETH EVANS (Attorney-General)(12.46) —The Government does not accept that there is a case for a moratorium, particularly in the context of importation, which is now subject to a series of regulations approved by the Australian Democrats themselves and, indeed, trumpeted as an achievement by them . We are confronting yet another inane and timorous flip-flop from the Australian Democrats. They acknowledge that the very terms of the motion before us are silly but nonetheless, because of some concern about electoral implications of behaving otherwise, they are supporting this call for a moratorium.

We do not believe that the situation in the Australian Capital Territory is such that the fabric of either the Territory or the nation will collapse overnight with the continued operation of what is a quite effectively working ordinance over the next couple of months. Under those circumstances the Government believes it is highly appropriate to let the present situation, which is under very active review by the censorship Ministers, continue for the immediately foreseeable future. Of course it will be reviewed in the light of the report of the Senate Select Committee on Video Censorship and subsequently the joint select committee. Therefore, the Government opposes the motion but does not intend to press it to the point of a division. We do not think it is a very sensible motion.