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Chris Bishop’s Member’s Bill which will help to avoid a repeat of the banning of Ted Dawe’s award-winning novel Into the River has passed unanimously in Parliament today.

“The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Interim Restriction Orders Classification) Amendment Bill, provides the President of the Film and Literature Board of Review with more flexibility when considering whether to restrict a publication,” Mr Bishop says.

“The unfortunate banning of Into the River for six weeks in 2015 revealed an anomaly in the law around interim restriction orders which left the President with only two options – to leave the book unrestricted or to ban it entirely before the Board of Review met. He opted for the latter, despite arguing that the book should have an R18 restriction.

“My Bill allows the President, when making an interim decision, to restrict a publication based on age or specific classes of people – the same powers available to the Classification Office and Board of Review

“In the case of Into the River it would have meant the President could have reverted the book to its R14 status, rather than banning it outright, while the review was considered.

“It is clear that Into the River should not have been banned. This small but useful change will help ensure such a situation does not happen again.”

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Interim Restriction Orders Classification) Amendment Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot in November 2016 and narrowly missed out on finishing its third reading before the election.

It is Mr Bishop’s second Member’s Bill to be drawn after his Compensation for Live Organ Donors Act was passed into law last year.

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