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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
  • the manufacture, acquisition, supply, administration or use of drugs; 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 [s 33(2)(e)]; or
  • give or show it to a minor, or permit (as a parent or guardian) a minor to give or show it to another person [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)(f) 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 National Classification Board (opens new window) under the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) in making a decision [ss 33(6)-(7)].

Produce, show or sell indecent or offensive material  :  Last Revised: Thu Jan 30th 2020
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.