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Produce, show or sell indecent or offensive material

It is an offence to exhibit or sell indecent or offensive material. Indecent and offensive include material that is immoral or obscene; or includes:

  • violence or cruelty; or
  • the manufacture, supply, aquisition or use of drugs or instruments of violence or cruelty; or
  • instructions in crime; or
  • revolting or abhorrent things; and

would cause serious and general offence amongst reasonable adult members of the community.

Maximum penalty: $20 000 or 6 months imprisonment

[Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 33(2)]

It is also an offence, with the same penalty, to do the following with indecent or offensive material:

  • produce or take any step in the production of such material for the purpose of selling it [s 33(2)(a)];
  • show or put it in a public place or have it visible from a public place [ss 33(2)(c)-(d)];
  • show such material to a person so as to offend or insult that person or show it in a public place [s 33(2)(e)]; or
  • give or show it to a minor [ss 33(2)(f)-(g)].

However, if a parent or guardian shows such material to his/her own child, it is not an offence under section 33(2) but, depending on the circumstances it is possible that charges of gross indecency could follow or that child abuse issues could be raised: see Protection of Children and Young People.

The indecent or offensive material can be confiscated [s 33(9)].

No material is indecent or offensive if it is intended for the advancement or dissemination of legal, medical or scientific knowledge or if it is part of a work of artistic merit where there is no undue emphasis on its indecent or offensive aspects [s 33(5)].

Any prosecution under section 33 cannot be commenced without consent of the Minister and the Minister must have regard to the South Australian Classification Council in making their decision [ss 33(6)-(7)].

See also the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth).

Produce, show or sell indecent or offensive material  :  Last Revised: Tue Aug 9th 2016
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.