Criminal Law Consolidation (Child-like sex dolls prohibition) Amendment Bill | SPEECH


Second Reading

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (11:29): I rise as a member of the government to support the Hon. Connie Bonaros’s bill and also the amendments that the Attorney-General has put forward. Put simply, the bill seeks to ban the production, dissemination and possession of childlike sex dolls. I never imagined nine years ago when I was elected that I would ever be talking about sex dolls in this place, but I do accept that the matter that the Hon. Connie Bonaros has raised is actually a very important one.

I do not speak as an expert. I have never seen one of these dolls and I have actually never been in the proximity of one, but I do think it is worth sharing a few points on behalf of the people of Stuart. Broadly speaking, sexual activity between consenting adults in private should really be entirely up to them, but I do think that this topic is slightly different. I do not think it is too conservative, I do not think it is unreasonable and I do not think it is old-fashioned to believe from the bottom of my heart that people who are sexually attracted to children have a problem—a very serious problem—and so any activity linked to sexual attraction to children needs to be dealt with differently from the way we would deal with other types of sexual activity.

Assault is a dreadful thing. Sexual assault is a dreadful thing. I am sure many of us have been involved in discussions where we have tried to weigh up in our minds whether a murder, where a person’s life is taken, is more or less terrible than a sexual assault on a child, where a life is not taken. I do not know that we will ever figure that out, and I do not know that we ever really need to, to be honest. Let them just both be dreadful crimes, neither of which should be accepted.

The concept that somebody could, in the privacy of their own home, find pleasure in a child sex doll I think is something that we do have an obligation to deal with. My reason for thinking that is connected to something that the member for Badcoe mentioned about the ever-growing reality that manufacturing technology allows to happen in these things. I cannot accept that if a person chooses to engage with a sex doll of their choice, looking like they want it to be, potentially made to look identical to a real-life child—and we know that technology will allow these things to become more and more realistic over time—that would not be likely to encourage a person to want to do so with an actual child rather than a doll or a model of a child.

Assault and sexual assault are dreadful things. Assault on anybody, including assault on women, as is most often the case, is completely unacceptable, but sexual assault on children is an entirely different category. I fully support the Hon. Connie Bonaros, I fully support our Attorney-General and I am pleased to see the opposition is also supportive of this bill.

I cannot think of a reason why we would not ban the production, dissemination and possession of childlike sex dolls. The suggestion has been raised that, if a person who has these desires is able to engage with a sex doll, they may not then perpetrate a crime against an actual child. That does not do it for me, to be honest, because I think anybody who has these urges is likely to want their engagement to become more and more real over time, and I find it very hard to accept that a person who has this attraction would have the self-control to know the difference, to know when to stop.

I cannot see any reason why these dolls should not be banned, and I know that I would speak for the overwhelming majority of my electorate when I express this view. I certainly support the bill as, I understand, do all members in this place.