|LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL LEGISLATION COMMITTEE - 25/05/2009
||[Jun. 10th, 2009|08:13 am]
From Refused Classification
Donald McDonald of the "OFLC"
This year I have called in, among other things, 48 adult publications, five graffiti magazines, and 387 films. I will continue to use this power in circumstances where I believe it is warranted. I should also mention that the board works with the three officers of the classification liaison scheme, who travel around Australia and check compliance with classification laws while also educating industry about those laws. During this financial year I have asked these officers, among their other tasks, to buy adult magazines that are sold in unrestricted premises, such as petrol stations and news agencies.
Senator BARNETT —Excuse me, Mr McDonald, could you repeat that last part?
Mr McDonald —Yes. I have asked the officers of the classification liaison scheme, among their other duties, to buy adult magazines that are sold in unrestricted premises, such as petrol stations, and news agencies. The board is using these magazines to more closely monitor whether distributors are complying with the serial classification declaration scheme. I am also using these magazines, and others sent in by members of the public, to call in unclassified publications for classification.
Finally I should note that the board is not charged with the responsibility of enforcing classification laws. Its primary role remains to classify the many thousands of publications, films and computer games that it must classify every year. That said, I would like to reassure senators that the board takes its responsibility very seriously and will continue to do everything in its power to increase compliance with Australia’s classification laws in cooperation with enforcement agencies and protect the integrity of the classification scheme. Thank you, Senators. I look forward to answering your questions.
Senator McGAURAN —So the state police are doing nothing. You mentioned community liaison officers.
Mr McDonald —Community liaison officers, yes.
Senator McGAURAN —What are their duties?
Mr McDonald —They are employees of the Attorney-General’s Department in the classification operations branch.
Senator McGAURAN —They go out and check?
Mr McDonald —Yes. There are three of them for the whole country, Senator.
Senator McGAURAN —Under resourced, do you believe, for such a job?
Mr McDonald —It is a matter for other people to determine those priorities, not for me.