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Midnight oil songs may be banned by new legislation



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SENATOR W A R W IC K PARER LIBERAL SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

SHADOW MINISTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE A.C.T.

3 December, 1991

MIDNIGHT OIL· SONGS MAY BE BANNED BY NEW LEGISLATION

Senator Warwick Parer, Shadow Minister for Administrative Services, warned that the federal government's political advertising ban legislation which is today being guillotined through the Senate, could have severe "unintended consequences"

in spite of its amendments to the Bill.

Senator Parer gave as an example a possible prohibition on political or protest songs such as those performed by Midnight Oil.

Under the government's legislation any "advertisement" containing a "political reference" cannot be broadcast during an election campaign.

Parties are to be given two-minute "free-time" spots which can only feature a politician speaking to the camera "with no other vocal sounds or images".

"The problems arise because there is no definition of advertisement, so previous practice would mean that pop songs with a message or a protest could be regarded as advertisements and thus be banned.

"The Human Rights Commissioner warned the Democrats on 29 May this year that -'my concerns would include the potential that a ban on the use of music in political advertising in the electronic advertising in the electronic media would seriously

inhibit the broadcast of songs dealing with political issues, for example, any dealing with land rights or environmental issues.'"

"This would mean that songs such as 'Let the Rivers Run Free', 'Rip, Rip, Wood Chip,' 'I Was Only 19' and entire Midnight Oil albums would disappear from radio playlists and television video clip shows while the ban is in force.

"The same question mark has to hang over matters such as Sunday religious broadcasts when the sermon is about a political issue, for instance, youth homelessness or the GST." ^ m i M M I * HW ilHH llllinw I. I -------- ~*·«"**·â€¢**''**''W*E

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