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Tuesday, 19 March 1985
Page: 398


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy) —by leave-I move:

(1) That the Senate concurs in the Resolution transmitted to the Senate by Message No. 6 of the House of Representatives relating to the appointment of a Joint Select Committee on Video Material, subject to the following modifications-

(a) paragraph (1), after 'joint select committee', insert ', to be known as the Joint Select Committee on Video Material,';

(b) paragraph (1), after 'operation of', insert 'the Customs (Cinematograph Films) Regulations,';

(c) sub-paragraph 1 (a), leave out 'by comparison with previous legislation purporting to govern', insert 'to adequately control';

(d) sub-paragraph 1 (c), leave out ' ''X'' '.

(e) After sub-paragraph 1 (c), insert the following new sub-paragraph:

'(ca) whether ''R'' rated videos should be permitted to be displayed for sale or hire in the same area and side by side with ''G'', ''PG'' and ''M'' rated videos and, if not, what restrictions should be imposed on the display of ''R'' rated material;';

(f) After sub-paragraph 1 (d), insert the following new sub-paragraph:

'(da) examine the extent to which videotapes /discs containing pornographic and violent material are available to the community in general;';

(g) After sub-paragraph 1 (f), insert the following new sub-paragraph:

'(fa) whether the sale, hire, distribution or exhibition of films and videotapes/discs that would, under existing laws, be accorded a classification above ''R'' should be made unlawful;';

(h) Paragraph (2), leave out the paragraph, insert the following paragraph:

'(2) That the Committee consist of 9 members, 3 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the National Party, the Deputy Leader of the National Party or the National Party Whip, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and 1 Senator to be nominated by any minority group or groups or any independent Senator or independent Senators.'.

(2) That the provisions of the Resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the Standing Orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders.

(3) That the foregoing Resolution be communicated to the House of Representatives by Message, with a request for the concurrence of that House in the Senate's modifications of the Resolution transmitted to the Senate by that House.

The point of the modifications is simply to bring the terms of reference of the proposed joint select committee into line with those adopted for the Senate's own committee, which is due to report shortly. It was simply an administrative mishap that the joint select committee terms of reference were not moved in the House of Representatives in the Senate's terms. I think it was nobody's desire to generate yet another debate in this place on that issue at this stage. I notice that Senator Harradine has circulated a proposed amendment to the resolution setting a reporting date of 1 August 1985. I have not had an opportunity to consult my colleagues and, in particular, the honourable member who is likely to be the chairman of the Committee, but I cannot imagine that there would be any dissent from the proposed fixing of a date. If the August date should prove to be too early, no doubt an extension of time can be sought. Accordingly, I move the motion. I hope that we can get through this matter without a debate.