Page 3881 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 October 1991

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Thursday, 17 October 1991


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


MR CONNOLLY (Attorney-General, Minister for Housing and Community Services and Minister for Urban Services) (10.30): Mr Speaker, I present the Publications Control (Amendment) Bill 1991 [No. 2]. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The purposes of this Bill are to establish a scheme whereby some films may be advertised before they have been classified and to prohibit the publication of advertisements for unclassified films and films which have been refused classification.

The film industry has been concerned for many years that much potential revenue is lost because in most Australian jurisdictions films must be classified before they can be advertised. The loss occurs because of advertising opportunities missed while films are in the final stages of production; for example, for sound dubbing after filming. In some overseas jurisdictions, such as the United States and some Canadian provinces, censorship schemes allow unclassified feature films to be promoted as "coming attractions".

The scheme set up by this Bill will allow 30 films each year to be advertised before they are classified, provided they meet certain conditions, which will be set out in the Gazette by the Commonwealth Attorney-General. Only films for which it is expected that a general exhibition, parental guidance or mature rating will be granted will be eligible for this exemption. "R" and "X" films will not be included. The films will be viewed by the Chief Censor and may be given an exemption. When the films are complete they will be classified and the exemption will cease.

This Bill will also prohibit the advertising of films which have not been classified and films which have been refused classification. This will mean that films which the censor has refused to classify because they contain objectionable material, for example, scenes of sexual violence, cannot be advertised. This Bill provides a model which will be adopted in all other Australian jurisdictions and will establish this scheme throughout Australia. I now present the explanatory memorandum for this Bill.

Debate (on motion by Dr Kinloch) adjourned.

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