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Discriminatory Porn Ban in Australia

Porn is banned in Aboriginal communities

23rd June

Update: Discriminatory Porn Ban...

The Australian Sex Party calls for an end of the porn ban in aboriginal communities

The Australian Sex Party has called on the federal government to abandon the punishing bans on X rated films and restricted magazines (pornography) that the Howard government forced on Aboriginal populations in the NT, as part of the Intervention.

Party Convenor, Fiona Patten, said that there was a huge personal freedom issue inherent in the right to watch adult entertainment that went way beyond a moral debate over sex. The federal government continues to maintain that Aborigines rape little children because they cannot contain their urges when they watch sexual media , she said. That is the underlying assumption in banning porn as part of the Intervention. It was made without any research being conducted into sexual assault and availability of pornography in Aboriginal communities, it was made against the express wishes of the authors of the Little Children Report and it was part of a racial slur that Aborigines could not only not hold their grog, but they couldn't hold their porn either. There was no evidence of this ever produced and there isn't any .

She said that the Little Children Report clearly stated that the laws on adult media needed to be policed and upheld as they were in other parts of the state like Darwin, rather introducing racist bans on adult media. The Little Children Report identified R rated Pay TV porn as the problem in the NT, by virtue of the fact that it was available 24 hours a day . John Howard then banned X rated DVDs instead and even failed to investigate claims that pay TV stations offered package deals with sporting channels in the NT that included free adult channels.

The bans on porn should be repealed immediately and the gross and insulting signs that are up in Aboriginal communities in the NT that allege that they watch porn and then rape children should be torn down , she said. She encouraged Aboriginal communities to pull the signs down themselves. When racism is covered with a layer of sexual innuendo like this, it causes racism to be more deeply ingrained than it otherwise would be. It is a disgraceful situation that Jenny Macklin has seen fit to back John Howard's overtly racist attack by not repealing these laws when she first became Minister .


16th May

Update: A Sign of Repression...

Australia removes discriminatory signs banning porn and alcohol from Aboriginal people

Australia's Central Land Council has welcomed the decision to remove the large blue signs that were put up on Aboriginal land and Community Living Areas by the Australian Government during the Intervention in 2007.

CLC Director, David Ross said Aboriginal people in Central Australia had been deeply offended by the references to a ban on pornography and the size of the signs in general since they were first erected by the Howard Federal Government during the initial implementation of the Intervention.


24th June

Update: Don't Mention 'Aboriginal People'...

They're to be called 'people in need of a special pornography ban'

Amnesty International has criticised new laws aimed at reinstating the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in the Northern Territory, claiming they fail to end discrimination introduced by the intervention.

Federal parliament has recently passed laws that will reinstate the RDA next year while maintaining many of the intervention's controversial measures.

The legislation does this in two ways.

First, it quarantines the welfare payments of all vulnerable people in the territory, regardless of race.

Second, it makes alcohol and pornography bans, as well as compulsory leases, more flexible and labels them special measures for the benefit of indigenous people.

Amnesty says Labor's changes don't fully re-instate the RDA and do not reverse racially discriminatory actions already initiated under the intervention .

Despite advice from many organisations and individuals, the government has ignored the human rights violations sanctioned by these laws and left racial discrimination legal in Australia, Amnesty's indigenous rights campaigner, Rodney Dillon, said in a statement.


19th February

Update: Australian State Discrimination...

Discriminatory ban on Aboriginal access to porn slammed

An Aboriginal legal aid group has slammed anti-pornography measures in remote communities, telling a Senate inquiry that provisions of the NT intervention portray indigenous men as pedophiles.

Vernon Patullo of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency said there had been no increase in the number of people in communities being prosecuted for possessing pornography since signs announcing a pornography ban were erected as part of the 2007 federal intervention.

Speaking at a Senate inquiry into welfare reforms, Patullo, an East Arnhem Land elder, said the pornography ban was a beat-up and had no substance at all . I have never seen a blue movie in a remote community, Patullo said in Darwin yesterday: These signs label people as pedophiles. It has portrayed our men as molesters.

Patullo's views form part of NAAJA's submission to the Senate inquiry, which was set up by the Greens to canvas public opinion on proposed welfare reforms and other special measures introduced as part of the federal intervention.

Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin wants to roll back blanket income management, reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act and focus instead on individuals at risk, in a model that could be expanded nationally.


8th July

Update: Underwhelmed by Discriminatory Legislation...

So has a porn ban cured Aboriginal society woes?

Only a handful of people have been prosecuted for possessing pornography in Northern Territory Indigenous communities, where the explicit material is banned.

The ban was one of a raft of measures, including alcohol restrictions, introduced in remote communities when the federal intervention was initiated in 2007.

The Darwin Magistrates Court today heard that only a handful of people have faced court for having the material under intervention laws. The ABC understands the number is as low as five.


22nd May

Update: Continued Discrimination...

Discriminatory laws against porn to be reviewed

Australia is reviewing its discriminatory laws targeted against aboriginal communities. Proposals are designed to bring aspects of the intervention in line with racial discrimination laws.

The federal and Northern Territory racial discrimination acts were suspended by the Howard government in 2007 to make way for elements of the intervention, but the Rudd Government has committed to reinstating them this year. Human rights groups, indigenous activists and elements of the Labor Party had agitated for the change.

The Government released a discussion paper yesterday outlining the changes it would consider to controversial measures such as compulsory welfare quarantining, alcohol and pornography bans and compulsory leases over townships.

Pornography bans would be continued where a resident of a community requested them. But they could be relaxed if the minister was satisfied there was no evidence of sexual abuse occurring in the past 12 months, or of children being exposed to pornography.


12th November

Update: Aboriginal Abuse...

The discriminatory Aborigine porn ban lives on

Northen Territory Aborigines have been made to feel repugnant by the Federal Government's intervention, with restrictions like income quarantining a boot in the guts, says the man who headed the government review into the policy.

Peter Yu, chairman of the Northern Territory Emergency Response Review Board, said many indigenous people found the intervention punitive, coercive and racist.

Earlier this month, his board reported to the Government that controversial restricted welfare payments to Aborigines in the Territory, which require the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act, should be abolished. It also recommended the reinstatement of permit systems for entry onto Aboriginal lands.

But the Government has opted to keep the intervention operating unchanged for at least the next year.

See also Aboriginal pawns in nanny state's porn game from

These bans on pornography damaged Aboriginal culture in a very devious way. They told white Australians that black Australians were so primitive and so base that even depictions of non-violent adult sex had the potential to turn them into pedophiles and rapists.

Much of what the Howard government banned from these communities was category 1 restricted magazines, which are legally available from every newsagency, service station and convenience store in the country. If Aborigines cannot manage to control their lust while viewing magazines that sit alongside The Australian Women's Weekly in a newsagent, what sort of people are they?

Nowhere in the original Little Children are Sacred report did the authors call for bans on porn. This approach was white conservative Christian policy. The report's authors wanted more education and enforcement of the Classification Act in the NT. They knew that bans on porn in Aboriginal communities would simply say to the general public that they had a genetic predisposition to sexual assault when confronted with nudity and sexual activity. The report even stated that bans on pornography would not be effective.

In case Howard and Kevin Rudd have missed it, Aborigines had been walking around the continent without clothes on and watching others have sex out of the corner of their eye for more than 50,000 years without a problem. Yet as a result of the intervention, Aborigines in the NT are being unfairly discriminated against, both as a matter of social equity and of racial equality.

The original report that lead to the intervention stated that young children were being shown sexually explicit material in an inappropriate fashion. This was largely because many Aboriginal adults had no idea that it was an offence to do so, but mainly because of serious overcrowding. How do you watch a sexually explicit film in private when there are 30 people living in a dwelling?


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