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Wednesday, 16 December 1992
Page: 5226

Senator HARRADINE (6.30 p.m.) —I will very quickly point out to the Minister for Transport and Communications (Senator Collins) that the codes of practice that were developed by the ABC enable material to be broadcast that is far stronger than is currently proposed to be able to be broadcast over commercial television stations. As I read them, and unless the Minister can point it out to me, these codes of practice do not include any provision as to the method of modification by the ABC.

  Page 5 of the codes of practice simply makes the point that M and MA material will be shown at certain times. It goes on to say that, whilst most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and the intensity of treatment will determine what can be accommodated in the M and MA classifications. The less explicit or less intense material will be included in the M classification and the more explicit and more intense material, especially violent material, will be included in the MA classification. That sounds to me very much like the OFLC to me. It means that the ABC will be able to show under these codes of practices unmodified, uncut MA violent films. That is what this code of practice does. It is unacceptable to the viewing public and unfair to the commercial television operators.

  Perhaps the Minister has the advice that he wants. Unless he can advise how the ABC will develop codes of practice in respect of the method of modification, and unless we are given a guarantee that this will somehow be subjected to parliamentary scrutiny, the Opposition's amendments should be supported.