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Film "skyjacked" - prohibited

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Statement by the Minister for Customs and Excise, · the Hon. D.L. Chipp, M.P.

The Minister for Customs and Excise, Mr Chipp, announced in Melbourne today that the American film "Skyjacked" has been refused registration for distribution and exhibition in Australia.

Mr Chipp said : "Representations have been made to the Government by the major Australian airlines and Australian Federation of Air Pilots asking that the circulation of the film "Skyjacked" be restricted or prohibited.

"These representations have been strongly supported by the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton).

"The film deals with the hijacking of a crowded civil airliner by a mentally-disturbed U.S. Army sergeant. The methods of hijacking and of holding crew and passengers hostage are explicitly and vividly depicted.

"The experience of airlines and civil aviation author­ ities has shown that immediately following the release of films involving the hijacking, sabotage and other interference with aircraft, the techniques employed in the plot are reproduced in real life a short time later.

"I have seen the film and had consultation with my colleague the Minister for Civil Aviation; I have also taken advice from airline security experts. In conscience, I cannot ignore the advice of those responsible for the safety of passengers and security of aircraft.

, "As a result I have decided to direct the Chief Film

Censor not to register the film. "Skyjacked" will not therefore be released for exhibition in Australia.

"I have made this decision reluctantly and with regret, but I feel compelled to take action in the interests of the many members of the travelling public.

"Hijacking of aircraft is a matter of grave concern to | Governments throughout the world. I am mindful of the need for a clear indication to be given by the Australian Government that all steps possible are being taken to inhibit the actions

of those tempted to imperil the lives of air passengers."


The Minister added that he had taken this action in accordance with the powers vested in him under Regulation 40 of the Customs (Cinematograph Films) Regulations which provide :

(1 ) That the Minister may direct that a matter arising under these Regulations be submitted to him for determination.

(2) Upon the submission of a matter to the Minister, the Minister may give such directions as he thinks fit and the Chief Censor shall take such · action as is necessary to give effect to the directions of the Minister.


8 August 1 972