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Summary Offences (Filming and Sexting Offences) Amendment Bill

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 16:45 :02 ): I rise briefly to support the second reading of the Summary Offences (Filming and Sexting Offences) Amendment Bill 2016. As outlined in the second reading report, the bill updates filming offences in part 5A of the Summary Offences Act 1953 in response to the emerging phenomena of sexting and revenge pornography. In short, it does so by broadening the scope of offending to also include threatening to distribute invasive images, or images obtained by indecent filming, and by increasing the penalties that apply to new and existing offences.

There have been many very public examples of sexting-type images being used as a tool of revenge, with apparently very little regard for the consequences that this sort of behaviour can have on the parties involved. Unfortunately, as we all know, this sort of behaviour has also become quite common amongst younger people. Bullying and harassment is, of itself, unsettling behaviour for victims. When you add to that mix the dissemination or the threat of disseminating invasive images, it adds another completely unacceptable layer of humiliation and denigration. The problem is magnified even further when the victims, and often the culprits, are minors.

I agree wholeheartedly with the government that this is a complex area that cannot be dealt with by legislative reform alone. Education also plays a key role, and it is extremely important that minors in particular are educated about the wideranging and extremely damaging ramifications this sort of behaviour can result in for victims and offenders alike.

To that end, I ask the minister to advise whether consideration has been given to any sort of education campaign in schools, not only about the inappropriateness of sexting and revenge pornography but also about the consequences of that sort of behaviour. With those words, I indicate my support for the second reading of the bill.

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