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Abby Winters

The best of Australian adult entertainment our own dear Abby Winters...

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We review a recently published report on the Australian adult entertainment market...

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Adult Industry Watch

Police in WA think Porn DVDs are low priority...

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Australian Customs Search Travellers for Porn

29 May 12 - Sometimes you just have to laugh at the ends the government of our supposedly free and liberal country will go to in the name of protecting our moral wellbeing. Pornography in Australia already subject to some of the most restrictive censorship, classification and distribution laws in the developed world. Combine this with incredibly ad hoc and patchy policing and ongoing abdication of responsibility and passing of the buck between government departments and the situation is already something that is blatantly embarrassing. However, the powers that be have now added a further layer of ludicrous bureaucracy that starts before visitors or returning residents even enter the country.

A recent addition to the customs landing card asks new arrivals if they are carrying any form of pornography. If the answer is no and you are and are caught, the fines are the same as for smuggling plant or animal material into the country. If you answer yes, you are then subject to having your porn collection searched under the premise that it may contain illegal material. The government purports to be doing this in order to help control such illegal material but opponents of the new powers suggest that it is an infringement of civil liberties and may actually not even be constitutionally legal. Even moderate campaigners not usually vocal in the pornography debate in Australia have jumped on the bandwagon this time.

One scenario that has been quoted several times is that of a traveller carrying some erotic photographs of his/her partner on a cell phone for example. Is this pornography? How do the authorities define porn? If your home made erotica is indeed made the subject of customs scrutiny, is it in fact legal? The concerns are that it may very well be confiscated because it has not been passed by the Australia classification system and is therefore technically not suitable for import. And that is just home made adult material, woe betide anyone who may actually be misguided enough to think its ok to bring legally purchased adult DVDs into a developed country.

As usual the governmental bodies involved have not been available to comment. Historically this is often because the relevant spokesperson doesn't fully understand the new laws and the policy, both official and unofficial, towards practically policing them. As is so often the case we are left to try to draw our own conclusions and theorize about what this means in real terms but the advice is clear, if you're coming into Australia just leave your porn behind - nobody knows if it may be considered legal or not.

Australian Adult Industry Awards 2012

15 Nov 11 - This highlight of the adult industry's year will be held in Melbourne in February 2012. The annual award scheme started in 2001 as a way of showcasing the increasingly powerful adult industry in Australia, providing a platform for adult business to network, attract new customers and for category winners to receive recognition from the Australian adult world.

In just the same way that industry awards are held for every niche in mainstream business, so it is with AAIA and there are many categories open for nominations from adult shops and adult DVD production to escort agencies and brothels - if you can think of it and its adult, AAIA have it!

Nominations for 2012 have now been opened and you can vote for your favourite adult business through a public forum, via email and regular mail or petition.

For anyone interested in attending the awards night itself, tickets are available for $125 and must be booked in advance.

We all love the Australian adult industry, so come on out and support it!

For more information please visit www.adultawards.com.au.

Porn DVDs Not Important for WA Police

29 Sep 11 - As enthusiastic followers of the somewhat confused and at times rather amusing legal classification of porn in Australia, a story caught our eye recently that rather sums up the whole situation.

In Canberra and the Northern Territory it is legal to sell porn DVDs by mail order to people in Western Australia. However, in WA itself it is illegal to sell them and this was reiterated by the Attorney General Christian Porter in October 2010 stating that under the 1996 Classification Enforcement Act retailers caught selling X18+ DVDs would be liable to AUD 10,000 fines.

Early in 2011 WA sex shops began selling these illegal (in WA) DVDs because they felt that the inconsistent legal situation breached their constitutional rights to pursue interstate trade, something that presents no legal problem for any other class of retailer. The West Australian newspaper purchased three porn DVDs on sale in several of Perth's many sex shops and then confronted the Attorney General. His response was that policing the sale of such material and in particular pursuing the prosecution of individuals selling such DVDs was the responsibility of the police. Fair enough really, as the police enforce the laws that exist but interestingly, nine months later, even with such a high profile case highlighted by the press, no prosecutions have been made.

Of course the next step in this story was to confront the police and a WA Police spokesperson has officially gone on record as saying that pornography is a non-core police activity and is low priority. When the police receive information on the sale of such material, they simply investigate if it is in any way connected to organized crime and if it is not its simply entered into their database for intelligence purposes and forgotten about.

Perhaps not surprisingly given the indefensibly inconsistent and bungled nature of policing porn in Australia, the spokesperson went on to say that WA Police believe the best authority to tackle the issue of enforcing laws relating to porn sales is the Attorney General's own Classifications Dept! Passing the hot potato indeed and who can blame them.

The problem is of course that the law in our supposedly liberal and open country is so incredibly confused, inconsistent and to be honest, downright embarrassing when it comes to the legal status of porn DVDs and their sale, purchase and ownership. Even the best intentioned law makers and law enforcement bodies and officials can not make head nor tail of them and continually struggle in vain to try to make solid common sense judgments on an individual case by case basis simply because the legislative framework is so incredibly unsupportive and obstructive.

This story, once again, highlights just how far we have to go in this journey towards common sense but we continue to hope that one day the law will begin to reflect the needs of the porn industry and the public and be sufficiently robust and clear that it can actually start to protect public interests, which is of course what all legislation is designed to do.