Monday, 16 December 2019 23:41

Australian classification regulations under review by Government

Australian film classifications Australian film classifications

The Australian Government has announced a review of Australian classification regulation to develop a framework that it says reflects changing technologies and meets community needs.

The review will encompass the National Classification Code, the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the current National Classification Scheme was established in 1995 and it is “timely for review”.

“Australians and their families rely on classification ratings to inform their entertainment choices and they expect the advice to accurately reflect community standards,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The current framework was established in the age of dial-up internet – well before the rise of the online streaming or gaming services we now use daily – so we will be looking at how to modernise it for different content and delivery platforms.”

“I encourage all interested parties to make a submission when the consultation period commences early next year to help us develop a contemporary framework that meets the needs of industry while providing appropriate information and protections for consumers.”

The Government has appointed Neville Stevens AO as the independent expert to lead the review.

Stevens, former Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts and current Chair of the Press Council, it tasked with providing a report on the review of classification regulation to Government in April 2020.

The review forms part of the Government’s response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry to develop a platform-neutral media regulatory framework, including “harmonising classification across delivery formats”.

A discussion paper will be released in early 2020 on the Department of Communications and the Arts’ website, and to access the Terms of Reference for the review click here.



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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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