Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE (18:17:25): On behalf of the Christian Democratic Party I speak in support of the Crimes Amendment (Intimate Images) Bill 2017, which will amend the Crimes Act 1900 to introduce new criminal offences for recording, distributing or threatening to record or distribute intimate images without consent and failing to comply with a court order or to take reasonable actions to remove or destroy intimate images recorded or distributed without consent. I fully support the legislation. The Hon. Penny Sharpe touched on the issue in her speech, but I am puzzled by the definition of “intimate”. Division 15C clause 91N (1) states:

(a) in a state of undress, or

(b) using the toilet, showering or bathing, or

(c) engaged in a sexual act of a kind not ordinarily done in public, or

(d) engaged in any other like activity.

The bill goes on to give further details that “private part” means:

(a) a person’s genital area or anal area, whether bare or covered by underwear, or

(b) the breasts of a female person, or transgender or intersex person identifying as a female.

The bill emphasises that those images should not be distributed without the consent of the person, but I question whether they should be distributed publicly even if the person in them is quite happy for other people to see them. That is a change in how our pornography laws operate. If a certain area of the law is broken, then it should be a crime to distribute an image; it does not matter if the person in the images has given consent or not. It seems to me we have created a loophole with the emphasis on privacy and we have missed the point of the problem—that is, should this material be distributed in any case, even if a porn star is happy for intimate images to be distributed because he or she has been paid for them? Is our society happy for those images to be distributed? I am not happy about that and I do not think the majority of people would be happy either. Further consideration must be given in due course to the strong emphasis in this legislation on “without that person’s consent”. Should images be distributed with or without a person’s consent? In my opinion, even if a person consents, a case could be made that images should not be distributed and shown to other persons.

I congratulate the Government on its attention in this area, which is a challenging one. I have made it more challenging by my comments. The Government has attempted to provide legislation for this issue. I believe it is only a small step in the right direction. More thought must be given to the impact of the legislation and whether it is indirectly permitting certain things that should not be permitted in the public arena. We must protect children and impressionable teenagers in our society. The Christian Democratic Party is happy to support the legislation as it stands, with those reservations, but we must give further thought to the approach we take to the whole matter.

(Pic Credit: NewsCorp http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/sex/new-research-reveals-1-in-5-australians-will-be-a-victim-of-revenge-porn/news-story/fc7f476859cd30f3b801b009cb0c74e9)

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