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The X Files (The Age newspaper) [Feb. 17th, 2008|03:05 pm]
Bob Bain
The "X" files (an "investigation" by the Age newspaper (Victoria, Australia))

Peter Munro
February 17, 2008

A Sunday Age investigation into Victoria's adult entertainment industry has found storefront shelves heavy with tens of thousands of X-rated films, which show real depictions of sex and are illegal to sell in Australia outside the ACT and Northern Territory.

More worrying though, is the widespread presence of unclassified films, which have not been submitted to the Classification Review Board and as such are illegal to sell anywhere in Australia. Most of those films, such as Spanking Special 03, contain sexual violence, adult actors pretending to be children having sex, or images that are gratuitous or offensive towards women - and all would be likely refused classification outright.


Other films we discover feature sex scenes with actors pretending to be under the age of 18, which would be refused classification in Australia under the guidelines of the Office of Film and Literature Classification.


VICTORIAN laws ban the sale of films that are X-rated, unclassified or have been refused classification because they feature images showing sexual violence, the offensive or demeaning treatment of women, or child pornography. What, then, do the stocked shelves of our adult stores say about the state of those laws?

As The Sunday Age discovered, adult stores openly flout prohibitions against the sale of X-rated or unclassified films with seemingly no fear of reproach.


On the record, Victoria Police will only say there is no evidence of an increase in the illegal trade of X-rated or unclassified films, or films that have been refused classification.

Our investigation suggests the contrary is true. Contradictions abound not only between the law and its enforcement, but also in the legislation as it is written. For example, while it is illegal to sell X-rated material in Victoria, there is no law against buying it, owning it or watching it here.

Tony Burke, president of the Law Institute of Victoria, says the state's classification law is "anachronistic and ridiculous". However, he warns that the failure of police to enforce the prohibition against the sale of X-rated films could encourage wider illegality. "There is a danger that the law falls into disrepute," he says. "When the law is not enforced, it throws into doubt the whole legal system of Australia."

(note: a similar observation was made to the ANU Link List by list owner Tony Barry some years back in respect of the points I was making at the time)

ANU Link List Articles...


Meanwhile, the Victorian Government remains silent on the issue. When asked about potential changes tothe classification law, a spokeswoman for Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who has previously admitted to watching an X-rated film, simply says such issues are not "high on the agenda"


(Article reference thanks to Mike)

Reminder: Check with David Bradbury MP on the current situation in Penriff (ties knot in handkerchief)