In 2004 and 2005, NAVA joined with other advocates in the
media, TV and film industries in seeking amendment of the Sedition clause in
the Anti-Terrorism legislation when it was first proposed and debated in
The Anti-Terrorism bill was devised by the Coalition
government in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks overseas. For 6 years,
NAVA was very active in seeking a change to the Sedition sections in the Act and at last this was achieved in 2011 when
‘sedition’ was removed and replace by ‘urging violence’. This substantially
alleviated the threat of censorship of artwork on political grounds.
In 2006, the sedition
offences in Section 80.2 of the Criminal Code were reviewed at the behest of
the Commonwealth Government by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). NAVA
made submissions to and met with the ALRC during the process.
The ALRC issued a report
entitled ‘Fighting Words’, however, it took a long time for the changes it
recommended to be adopted. At last, the National Security Legislation
Amendment Act 2010 became law. For artists it was a great relief to see the
repealing of the ‘sedition’ clauses and their replacement with ‘urging
The ALRC’s Fighting Words Report.
National Security Legislation Amendment Act Bill.