2 July 2006
‘Alleged Big Brother Incident’
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan today sought urgent answers in relation to an alleged incident involving three ‘Big Brother’ housemates during filming of the programme over the weekend.
“Like most Australians, in particular parents of children who watch the ‘Big Brother’ programme, I was very concerned to hear details of an alleged incident involving three housemates over the weekend, said Senator Coonan.
“I note that the alleged incident was sexual in nature and make very clear that any allegation of sexual assault is a very serious issue.
“Clearly this is matter for the police and I am advised that Network 10 has provided the footage of Saturday morning’s incident to the Queensland Police.
“Any further action in relation to possible criminal charges emanating from this footage is obviously a matter for the police,” Senator Coonan said.
The Minister has also sought an urgent assessment of the issue and possible breaches of the television code of conduct from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the regulator of television content.
“I have spoken with the Chairman of ACMA this morning and he will be providing an urgent assessment about possible breaches of codes of conduct relating to television content.
It is understood that footage of the alleged incident was not broadcast on television but was streamed via the Internet to an unspecified audience who logged on in the early morning of Saturday.
“I have sought and obtained an undertaking from Channel 10 that they will not broadcast or promote this incident. I will ensure ACMA also investigates any breaches of the regulations.
“I will have more to say after the regulator has provided me with advice tomorrow.” the Minister said.