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April 2013

Sexually explicit billboards face axe under govt review

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http://www.centraltelegraph.com.au/news/sexually-explicit-billboards-face-axe-under-govt-r/1827464/

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SEXUALLY explicit outdoor advertising in Queensland could be become images of the past as the State Government considers implementing G-Rating restrictions.

The outdoor advertising inquiry follows calls from the Australian Christian Lobby to crack down on explicit billboard images and slogans in the interest of children.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the outdoor advertising industry was largely self-regulated, meaning states have very few powers when it comes to regulating sexually explicit material on billboards.

“It is difficult to avoid outdoor advertising in everyday life and such advertising can be seen by children, with no ability for parents to restrict access if it is inappropriate,” Mr Bleijie said.

“If it is not appropriate to show children certain things on television during prime time, then it should not be appropriate for outdoor billboard advertising.”

The Attorney-General will refer terms of a reference to a Parliamentary Committee next week to investigate potential reforms.

“I want the committee to consider the effectiveness of the existing regulatory model in Queensland in relation to the exposure of our children to sexually implicit images and slogans,” he said.

The billboard scrutiny follows a petition from the Australian Christian Lobby to the State Government calling for outdoor advertising to be G-rated.

Responding  to the petition in a letter tabled to Parliament, Mr Bleijie said he agreed young people should be entitled to live in a caring environment protected from exploitation.

“As a father of young children, I appreciate the challenges outdoor advertising presents to parents in trying to restrict children’s exposure to sexually explicit images and slogans,” Mr Blejie wrote.

In a statement posted online on Friday, ACL Queensland director Wendy Francis said the announcement was a huge win for “our children and society”.

One of the most recent examples was a billboard in Ipswich, which featured a half-naked porn actress, advertising Brisbane’s Sexpo.

At the time, Sexpo general manager Rob Godwin said if it was in any other state, the billboard would have been even more provocative.

“I think the people of Ipswich should be proud of the billboard – everyone featured on the ad is from Queensland,” Mr Godwin told Queensland Times.

“Sex is a great, wonderful thing that should be celebrated instead of hidden away.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but compared to our billboard there are fashion ads and magazine covers out there that show a lot more skin.”

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