7. Classification Decision Makers
7.1 In this chapter, the ALRC recommends that some classification decisions now made by the Classification Board (the Board), may instead be made by authorised industry classifiers, subject to review and regulatory oversight.
7.2 The independent Board should be retained and in addition to making classification decisions, its role should be expanded to include reviewing decisions, upon application. The Board should continue to have sole responsibility for classifying certain content including content that needs to be classified for the purpose of enforcing classification laws. On commencement of the new National Classification Scheme, the ALRC recommends that, of the content that must be classified, the following content must be classified by the Board:
- feature films for Australian cinema release; and
- computer games likely to be MA 15+ or higher.
7.3 However, the Regulator should also be provided with the power to determine the media content that must be classified by the Board, so that this may be changed over time, in response to the evolving media content environment and community concerns.
7.4 Apart from the media content that must be classified by the Board, the ALRC recommends that all other media content may be classified by trained authorised industry classifiers, including feature films not for cinema release and television programs.
7.5 Content providers may also choose to use the Board, authorised industry classifiers or authorised classification instruments to voluntarily classify content, such as computer games likely to be classified G, PG and M, even though this content is not required to be classified.
7.6 The ALRC further recommends that the Regulator be able to determine that certain films, television programs or computer games, that have been classified under an authorised classification system are ‘deemed’ to have an equivalent Australian classification.