Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor will ask the Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct a review of classification in Australia in light of changes in technology, media convergence and the global availability of media content.
Mr McClelland said.
“As Australia’s foremost law reform institution, the ALRC is well suited to lead this important work. The Commission previously conducted an inquiry into laws relating to classification and censorship in 1991”
Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor said current classification categories would be considered as part of the review. Mr O’Connor said:
“When the National Classification Scheme began, classifiable content and the way it was delivered to consumers was relatively static.
Today, films can be watched in a cinema, on DVD, on TV or downloaded. Many video games include significant film segments to tell stories, and some films have interactive content. The National Broadband Network will increase this ready access to classifiable content.
People, particularly parents, need a system of classification in Australia that allows them to make informed choices about what they wish to read, see and hear.
This important review will look not only at classification categories, but also at the whole classification system to ensure it continues to be effective in the 21st century.”
The National Classification Scheme is a cooperative scheme between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.
The Attorney-General’s Department is seeking comments on the proposed terms of reference for the review. The proposed terms of reference can be found at www.classification.gov.au. Any comments should be provided by 28 January 2011.