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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3245

Mr DANBY (Melbourne Ports) (13:50): I want to congratulate my friend in the other place Senator Glenn Sterle on a private senator's motion he is moving in the Senate, which I am sure will get Senate support. He is calling on the directors of SBS to abide by the SBS codes of practice on prejudice, racism and discrimination, especially with regard to a series that was shown in November and December called The Promise. The UK Office of Communications conceded that:

… there were Jewish/Israeli characters and their actions that, arguably, could have led to members of the Jewish faith … being perceived in a negative light to some degree.

SBS showed this program despite numerous complaints about the negative light it cast people in. Simply, they could have got around the problem by behaving like adults, in a mature way, and having a discussion program at the end with various points of view. That is the Australian way of handling different points of view, particularly in matters as difficult as the Middle East conflict and particularly when people felt so offended. They should have taken up this issue by having a program with people who supported the program and people who were critics of the program. I commend Senator Sterle on his resolution. I hope it is passed by the Senate; I am convinced it will be. The directors of SBS should pay attention to their own codes of practice and the impression they are creating in the parliament of not abiding by those codes of practice.