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Minister Pays Tribute To Former Chief Censor

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Jack Elder has paid tribute to the former Chief Censor of Film and Literature, Kathryn Paterson, who died yesterday in Sydney.

Ms Paterson came from an extensive censorship background in Australia in April 1994 to establish the new Office of Film and Literature Classification which took over the functions of the former Film Censor's Office, Video Recordings Authority and Indecent Publications Tribunal. She managed it for its first four years of existence resigning last December to take up a similar position in Australia.

Mr Elder said Ms Paterson brought a calm, pragmatic approach to her role as Chief Censor, handling controversial issues with sensitivity.

"Her tenure was marked by a remarkable lack of controversy around her office, a most unusual situation," Mr Elder said. "Ms Paterson attributed that to the legislation under which she operated but most observers would acknowledge that it was the way she administered the law that made the difference.

"Kathryn was able to deal with all manner of groups, balancing Parliament's intention to protect society from offensive material against the freedoms conferred by the Bill of Rights."

Mr Elder extended his and the Government's sympathy to Ms Paterson's family.

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