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Child porn cases underline Bill's importance: Goff

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Justice

21 May 2004

Media Statement

Child porn cases underline Bill's importance: Goff

The continuing rash of child pornography cases that have been before the courts underlines the need for tougher penalties contained in legislation currently before Parliament, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

Mr Goff's Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Amendment Bill, which is being considered by a select committee, includes a 10-fold increase in penalties for dealing in objectionable material such as child pornography.

"People who trade in images of the abuse of kids will face up to 10 years in jail under this Bill. That should send a very clear message to people that such behaviour is not acceptable," Mr Goff said.

"The quicker we can get this Bill out of the Select Committee and into law the better. It's time the courts had the power to impose sentences which reflect society's disgust at the sexual exploitation of children, and which can act as a strong deterrent.

"Child pornography involves the actual abuse of children, and people who trade or possess it are encouraging that abuse by creating a market for the images, and penalties for offenders should reflect that fact.

"The internet has created a proliferation in the trade of child pornography, because it allows people to trade large numbers of images anonymously and cheaply.

"Child pornographers deserve to be exposed. They should also take warning that they will soon face much tougher sentences that more appropriately reflect the crime they are committing," Mr Goff said.

ENDS


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