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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1156

Senator REID —by leave-I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

(1) That a Select Committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Video Censorship, be appointed to report on the operation of Regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations and the A.C.T. Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 in relation to videotapes and videodiscs and in particular-

(a) the effectiveness of such legislation to adequately control the importation , production, reproduction, sale and hire of violent, pornographic or otherwise obscene material;

(b) whether the present classification system, as applied by the Film Censorship Board, is adequate as a basis for import and point of sale controls;

(c) whether video retailers are observing the conditions of sale or hire attached to classified material, particularly in relation to children under 18 years;

(d) whether Regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation is adequate in identifying categories of prohibited material, and operating effectively in preventing the importation of videotapes/discs falling within the prohibited categories;

(e) examine the extent to which video tapes and discs containing pornographic and violent material are available to the community in general;

(f) whether children under the age of 18 years are gaining access to videotapes /discs containing violent pornographic or otherwise obscene material;

(g) whether the A.C.T. Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 should be amended to make it an offence for persons purchasing or hiring 'X' classified videotapes/discs to allow, suffer or negligently permit children to view such material;

(h) whether cinemas should be permitted to screen for public exhibition 'X' classified material, subject to prohibition from entry of persons under the age of 18 years;

(j) whether films which would merit an 'X' classification are being produced in Australia and if so whether Australian men and women are adequately protected by existing law from pressure to act in such films; and

(k) the likely effects upon people, especially children, of exposure to violent , pornographic or otherwise obscene material.

(2) That the Committee consist of six Senators, as follows:

(a) three to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate

(b) two to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; and

(c) one Independent Senator, to be nominated by the Independent Senator.

(3) That the Committee proceed to the despatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(4) That the Committee elect as Chairman one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Government.

(5) That the Chairman of the Committee may, from time to time, appoint another member of the Committee to be the Deputy-Chairman of the Committee, and that the member so appointed act as Chairman of the Committee at any time when there is no Chairman or the Chairman is not present at a meeting of the Committee.

Select Committee on Video Censorship

Select Committee on Video Censorship

(6) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the Chairman, or the Deputy- Chairman when acting as Chairman, have a casting vote.

(7) That the quorum of the Committee be three members.

(8) That the Committee and any sub-committee have power to send for and examine persons, papers and records, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(9) That the Committee have power to appoint sub-committees consisting of three or more of its members, and to refer to any such sub-committee any of the matters which the Committee is empowered to consider, and that the quorum of a sub-committee be a majority of the Senators appointed to the sub-committee.

(10) That the Committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the Committee with the approval of the President.

(11) That the Committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

(12) That the Committee report to the Senate by 31 March 1984.

(13) That, if the Senate be not sitting when the Committee has completed its report, the Committee may send its report to the President of the Senate or, if the President is not available, to the Deputy-President, who is authorised to give directions for its printing and circulation and, in such event, the President or Deputy-President lay the report upon the Table at the next sitting of the senate.

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