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Tuesday, 19 March 1985
Page: 400

Senator WALTERS(3.58) —It seems to me such a pity that we are going down this road. The only reason we have to go down this road is that the Government was, as we all know, dragged screaming to set up a committee. When it would not set up the committee, the Senate had to set one up in the place of the joint committee that we had originally wanted. The fact is that the Senate Select Committee on Video Censorship has already done a tremendous amount of work. I would be interested to know how members of the House of Representatives are going to view the evidence that we have already taken-

Senator Puplick —Probably salaciously.

Senator WALTERS —Maybe; but certainly, if I were a member of the House of Representatives, I am sure that I would not be satisfied with just reading the Hansard reports on the interviews with the Australian Customs Service, the Customs Officers Association, the Attorney-General's Department, the Film Censorship Board, the Films Board of Review and all the others. Maybe the House of Representatives will be satisfied with that. I sincerely hope that it will not be a matter of calling all the departments and all the statutory bodies before us once more to carry out interviews. It seems that this will be a great waste of time if it has to occur. An unprecedented number of submissions have been put to this Committee-I think it is well over 600 now; I am not up with the latest figure-and this shows the Government that there is deep concern, as it would say, 'out there amongst the people' regarding the classification system that was brought in by the former erstwhile Attorney-General, the present Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Gareth Evans).

There is little point in my going on about this because it seems to be a fait accompli. A joint committee will be set up. I suppose we are just left to get on with it and reach a conclusion by the date that, if the Government approves of it, Senator Harradine has seen fit to impose upon us. If the Joint Committee does see fit to read the Hansards that date might be accomplished; otherwise it will be very difficult.

Question resolved in the affirmative.