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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1879

[COGNATE MESSAGE:

JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON VIDEO MATERIAL]

Debate resumed from 24 August, on motion by Mr Young:

(1) That a joint select committee be appointed to report on the operation of Regulation 4A of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations and the ACT Classification of Publications Ordinance 1983 in relation to videotapes and videodiscs and in particular-

(a) the effectiveness of such legislation by comparison with previous legislation purporting to govern 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 'X' classified material, particularly in relation to children under 18 years;

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

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

(f) whether the ACT 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;

(g) 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;

(h) 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

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

(2) That the committee consist of 7 members, 3 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the National Party, the Deputy Leader of the National Party or the National Party Whip, 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate and 1 Senator to be nominated by any minority group or groups or independent Senator or independent Senators.

(3) That every nomination of a member of the committee be forthwith notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(4) That the committee proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) That the committee elect a Government Member as its chairman.

(6) 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.

(7) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chairman, or the deputy chairman when acting as chairman, have a casting vote.

(8) That the quorum of the committee be 3 members.

(9) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources.

(10) That the 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, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations it may deem fit.

(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 foregoing provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

(13) That a message be sent to the Senate acquainting it of this resolution and requesting that it concur and take action accordingly.