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Film censorship concern.

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Senator Kate Lundy

Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Shadow Minister for Arts, Sport, and Information Technology

Film censorship concern.

The closing down last night of the screening in Sydney of the movie Ken Park is disturbing.

This follows the decision of the Office of Film and Literature Classification to refuse classification to the film.

I believe that in a free society adults should be able to view whatever they want, provided that those involved in the making of the film have broken no laws, for instance relating to the exploitation of children.

The classification system also plays a key role in protecting children from inappropriate material. However, it has never been suggested that this film would receive anything other than a restricted classification.

In Australia the OFLC has been established to classify films to reflect community standards, and to allow to people to make informed judgements about what they want to see.

I make no judgement about this particular film. That is not my role, and nor should it be.

I am concerned that the OFLC seems to have made a decision at variance with many other countries. Ken Park has been shown at many other film festivals around the world, and has been sold commercially to 30 countries.

I simply ask the question, is the OFLC reflecting community standards on this film? And what efforts were made to obtain community input in the decision?

There is genuine concern within the film community and the broader community about increasingly conservative and restrictive decisions being made by the OFLC.

Our classification regime must not be allowed to become a censorship regime.

I am also sorry for the members of the NSW Police Force who found themselves in a difficult situation last night, but who carried out their duties in the professional and courteous manner the community expects of them.

4 July 2003. Media contact: Adina Cirson - (02) 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295; or John Cook - (02) 6277 4022