Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008
Consideration in Detail
The government will not be supporting the amendments that the member for Warringah has just moved to the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008. I will outline why. I think it is very important in this very sensitive area that we go through this in a very careful way and that we do not misrepresent what is actually happening. The previous government put in place programs through the original legislation that introduced the intervention that, to some extent, restricted access to pornography. When we were in opposition, we supported those proposals. Then the previous government introduced further legislation in September last year to introduce additional measures. It is very important to recognise that there are two different parts to the control of access to pornography. We are not seeking through this bill to go back on anything that went through the parliament in the original intervention legislation. It is important that the opposition recognise that. The opposition in fact were aware that the measures that they put into a bill in the parliament here in September last year were unworkable. They were also aware that amendments were being developed by officials at the time. So I think it is very important that we take away the rhetoric and actually recognise that we all want to have workable legislation in this area to restrict access to pornography.
Our bill—without the amendments moved by the opposition—will actually implement practical measures to extend the ban on X-rated, 18+ and unrated material in prescribed areas to include pay TV channels with a substantial R18+ content. The problem seems to be that the opposition do not want consultation or involvement to take place, with some suggestion that consultation in some way can rule out—