Page 2653 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 25 September 2007

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“Look, it’s too awful. No-one would ever want to come and see a film about trafficking and sexual servitude.”

The people who went to see the film last night, and the other people in Canberra who will see it in commercial release in the next week or so, will realise that even though this is a dreadful, hideous topic—a topic that deals with the way that women particularly are treated with such brutality—it is done in such a sensitive way that, although it is moving and arresting, and many people left the cinema in tears last night, it is not done in such a confronting way that people cannot think about the issues.

Last night was extraordinarily successful. We were privileged to have in our presence representatives of the Stop the Traffic project, which is now a worldwide project that deals with all manner of trafficking of persons. In particular, we were privileged to have present independent filmmaker Dee McLachlan, whose initiative this was, who conceived of the idea, wrote the script, directed the film and, with a group of very committed people who have gone without for quite some time, put together a stunning film. I would also like to commend the work of John L Simpson, who has taken on the task of making sure that this film is distributed, at personal cost to himself by mortgaging his own home.

I would also like to thank those people who contributed to making last night a success—Craig and the other staff at the Dendy, and my own staff who worked very hard to ensure that this issue was publicly and widely distributed. Most of all, I would like to thank the members of the Canberra community—a very diverse group of people, and not the usual suspects—who came along to find out about this really important issue, and those people who contributed to the collection that was taken up for Project Respect in Melbourne and the Anti-Trafficking Project in Sydney.

I commend the movie to anyone who has an interest in this matter or has an interest in ensuring that Australia really is the lucky country. There are things that you can do as individuals, perhaps by donating to those two organisations, Project Respect and the Anti-Trafficking Project, and by supporting the work of Stop the Traffic.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 4.48 pm.

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