Media Release: Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today welcomed suggestions for stronger action to combat X-rated pornography contained in a Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee report on the Northern Territory Emergency Response legislation.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said that the Senate committee report rightly recognizes that the legislative measures dealing with the possession and supply of Xrated pornography in the Northern Territory will need to be monitored and might not be sufficient to achieve their objective.

Page 32 of the report, which was tabled yesterday, states: “Consideration may need to be given to extending the prohibition on the possession and sale of X18+ films throughout the Northern Territory, or to cutting off the supply of such films at their source through an amendment to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, a prohibition on the carriage of X18+ films by a carrier service or even a prohibition on the production and sale of X18+ films in the Australian Capital Territory.”

“ACL strongly endorses these views and hopes that the legislative provisions dealing with pornography will be closely monitored to assess their effectiveness, with a view to taking further action in this area,” Mr Wallace said.

“Given that the harm which pornography causes extends far beyond indigenous communities, it would also be good to see all States and Territories getting together with the Federal Government to deal with the issue of pornography. AttorneyGenerals from all these jurisdictions should be jointly deciding on a national approach to protect Australians from this serious problem.”

Mr Wallace said that ACL also supports the Committee’s recognition of a need for immediate action in the Northern Territory situation.

“Given the necessary speed with which the Government is moving to provide an emergency response to the Northern Territory situation it is important that it takes up the Committee’s recommendation to closely monitor the situation and to conduct a review after two years,” Mr Wallace said.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan