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Thursday, 25 May 1989
Page: 2733

Senator JENKINS(5.22) —Clause 5 (1) (g) of the Bill refers to

. . . video material that is not to be sold, let on hire or delivered to a person under the age of 18 years . . .

That would include classifications R and X under the current and updated guidelines put out by the Film Censorship Board. Senator Walters has the definition in clause 5 (1) (g). I am following her definition. Obviously it refers to video materials being allowed to be sold or hired under the current guidelines, only to people over the age of 18. If the guidelines were tightened tomorrow, the new ones would be the current guidelines. As I indicated when I spoke earlier, I believe that some of the guidelines should be tightened somewhat as they relate to some of the currently X-rated material that is available. But that is something else, and it is not dealt with in this legislation. What we are looking at in this legislation is whether currently X-rated material should be banned totally.

I have given two basic reasons why I feel very strongly against that. One of them concerns censorship. I concede that some of the depictions in X-rated material should go out, but I do not believe that we in this chamber should be making decisions about X-rated material on behalf of Australian adults. One of the first things that a totalitarian regime-whether a communist regime on the Left or a fascist regime on the Right-does is impose censorship, and one of the first things to be censored is sexual material. I personally do not want a bar of going down that track. Protecting the young is another matter; tightening up on the material is another; and being sensible and categorising material honestly as NVE-non-violent erotica-is another. But those matters are not addressed in this legislation.