Page 4316 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 October 1991

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Debate resumed from 17 October 1991, on motion by Mr Connolly:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

DR KINLOCH (5.25): This is an interesting Bill. I thank the Law Office for helping me to understand it better. Let me explain the circumstances by using as an example the film Batman. In Hollywood the film was made over a long period, and at the same time a publicity organisation would have been getting ready with the T-shirts, dolls, games, books, posters and all the other gimmickry that we associate with a film such as Batman, and you could pick many others.

When the film comes to Australia this publicity machine has been rolling for ages. Once the film has arrived, it then has to be seen by the film classification board, and this takes time. So, there may be a huge publicity campaign around the world while the film has not been classified. Part of that publicity campaign is the trailers, the previews.

The film distributors find themselves in the strange position of having a film awaiting classification while their publicity machine is rolling. They cannot show the trailer because it has not been given a G, M, or whatever, classification. The film companies need to show their trailers, their previews. My heart does not bleed for them; I do not see why they cannot be more patient. But I understand that technically it is costing them millions of dollars to try to get the films out to fit in with their publicity.

This Bill makes it possible for exemptions - only 30 a year - to be made by the Commonwealth Film Censorship Board, which would allow these advertising programs to go ahead without classification. It is a technical little procedure. In a way, it is somewhat experimental. Why 30? Why not 60? Why not 90? There is some attempt to put it in being now to see how it goes.

But there may be a worry, I hear you say. What if the trailer contains R- or X-rated material and this material is screened at a children's performance of a G-rated film? Some of us have heard worries from parents about this. They say that they may take their children to a G-rated film but that they may see in a trailer something that they do not want their children to see. But I draw the attention of the Assembly to proposed subsection 17D(2):

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