Page 5887 - Week 18 - Wednesday, 11 December 1991

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Detail Stage

Consideration resumed from 4 December 1991.

Clause 3

MR COLLAERY (11.56), by leave: I move:

Page 1, line 13, proposed new subsection 92NB(1), after "who", insert "knowingly".

Page 2, line 4, after proposed new subsection 92NB(1), insert the following subsection:

"(1A) It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) that the defendant reasonably believed that the person depicted or otherwise represented as a young person was not under the age of 16 years.".

I remind members that this clause relates to the possession of child pornography and the amendment provides a defence for those who want to have that material. It is unfortunate that they would want to have it; but, if they do and they believe that the persons depicted in that pornographic material are above the age of 16 years, there is a defence for them. Both those amendments have been moved at the instigation of the Director of Public Prosecutions, whose helpful advice I acknowledge.

MR CONNOLLY (Attorney-General, Minister for Housing and Community Services and Minister for Urban Services) (11.58): The Government supports these amendments, which improve the Bill. The problem previously was in relation to "knowingly". A postal worker, for example, or a delivery agent could have been convicted of an offence because he would have had possession of this material for a period. The defence of reasonable belief that a person was over age again is an appropriate defence to a criminal charge if the person honestly and reasonably believed that he was engaging in no unlawful conduct. So, these defences improve the legislation and are supported by the Government.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 4 to 6, by leave, taken together

MR COLLAERY (11.59): Mr Speaker, clauses 4, 5 and 6 in the original Bill were deficient, and I candidly admit that. They took in a whole range of offences. Acting on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions and further consultation with the Parliamentary Counsel, the whole matter has been removed and has been reduced to the clause headed "Transmitting X-Films interstate". I move:

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