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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2009) . . Page.. 725 ..

I wonder what might happen if it were only up to the Stanhope government—a government that blames the private sector for its failings and infrastructure development; a government that thinks that the private sector should prop up its economic mismanagement; a government that thinks that the private sector is the big bad wolf of industrial relations. Perhaps the Stanhope government will see the beneficial impact of measures such as these in this bill as a result of a national approach and see the benefits it will bring to the private sector and to the community at large.

Perhaps the benefit this bill brings to the private sector will inspire the Stanhope government to change its attitude towards the private sector when it comes to recognising its importance and the contribution it makes to our community and economy. I commend the bill to the house.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.50): The Greens generally support the provisions of this bill. As has been stated, it adopts measures passed by the commonwealth parliament and updates the classification scheme in line with the technology currently available. On the issue of strict liability offences, we are comfortable that these are appropriate for the offences that have been created and do not unduly trespass on individual rights. The penalties are within the acceptable range, and we accept the government’s rationale that professionals engaged in the prohibited conduct would or should be well aware of the prohibition. These are the types of offences where it would be an unnecessary and overly burdensome requirement on the judiciary to require the demonstration of fault elements.

It appears that these are sensible and reasonable amendments that will reduce an unnecessary burden placed on the Office of Film and Literature Classification brought about by DVDs and other new technologies. The Greens will be supporting this bill.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.51), in reply: This bill brings to its conclusion a long and complex task of aligning the classification regimes for publications, films and computer games in all Australian jurisdictions. The bill also implements comprehensive amendments addressing the need to reclassify a film that has been modified or a compilation of classified material on a disk, and it removes the current prohibition on advertising unclassified films to provide for industry self-assessment of the likely and appropriate classification.

The federal scheme for classification of publications, films and computer games is a cooperative one. It is underpinned by the commonwealth act and the states and territories classification enforcement legislation. The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995 provides for the implementation in the ACT of the classification of material in accordance with the national classification code and the guidelines made under the commonwealth act. In particular, it sets out the restrictions and conditions on the sale and possession of films, computer games and certain publications, the way in which the material may be advertised and any exemptions that may apply.

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