Page 5041 - Week 17 - Wednesday, 12 December 1990

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Wednesday, 12 December 1990


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR STEVENSON (10.30): Mr Speaker, I present the Publications Control (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1990.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Stevenson, before you present your Bill I would just advise you again that if this Bill is not substantially different to those presented earlier in this sitting period it will be rejected. Please proceed.

MR STEVENSON: Indeed it is, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, with the introduction of this Bill to ban computer generated pornography as well as pornographic videos, members of the ACT Legislative Assembly have the opportunity to take action in the fight against rape, child abuse and sexual murder. Without doubt some people in our society are unbalanced and are driven by pornographic video images to commit crimes of violence and sexual assault, even murder. In Queensland in 1950 there were 12 cases of rape. From July 1988 to June 1989 there were 366 reported rapes. There were 1,407 sex assaults on women, 395 reports of indecent treatment of boys under 17 and 1,265 other sexual assaults.

In this Assembly we have the power to make sure that women will not have to suffer the terror of rape. By passing this Bill we can save the lives of some who will become the future victims of pornography. It will not stop all child molestations. It will not stop all rapes. It will not save every life that is taken as a result of the violence caused by pornography. What it will do is make an appreciable and beneficial difference in the trauma and violence that can result from X-rated videos and computer pornography.

Computers are now being used to generate, copy and spread pornography. In Canberra, simply with a computer and a modem - a device that lets one computer "talk" with another computer over a telephone line - one can gain access to pornography. Such pornography is usually held on what are called bulletin boards. This is simply a name for information held in a computer's memory. With a computer, modem and usually a password, one can gain access to

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