Media Release: Friday, June 22, 2007

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today applauded the Federal Government’s plan to ban X-rated pornography in the Northern Territory and called on the ACT Government and State Governments to also take action in this area.

“The child sexual abuse crisis in the Northern Territory has highlighted in the most distressing way the dreadful harm that pornography causes to communities,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.

“It is time to take action on this issue throughout Australia. We’re calling on the ACT Government to ban the sale of X-rated pornography and for all States to better enforce measures to control access to this material.

“The Northern Territory situation gives the lie to suggestions that pornography isn’t harmful to society. Pornography and alcohol have been identified as being among the main factors behind the sexual abuse crisis. When children as young as three are being exposed to the worst kind of pornography it is little wonder that sexual abuse is epidemic,” Mr Wallace said.

“However, this situation isn’t confined to indigenous communities. There would be many other communities in Australia - even some in our major cities - which are isolated by lack of opportunity and social disadvantage and would be as badly affected by pornography.”

The Northern Territory and the ACT are the only two places in Australia where the sale of X-rated pornography is legal. In recent times the pornographic film industry has been trying to water down the classification system for pornography by seeking to overturn X-ratings for adult films showing actual sex.

“The deeply concerning problems in the Northern Territory show just how great a  problem pornography is and how far greater controls are needed,” Mr Wallace said.

“It is time we put the future of our children before the demands of the pornographic film industry!”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan