Classification e-news | Discussion forum: draft principles for reform

Issue 7 | 12 August 2011  

As readers would be aware, in May this year the ALRC released an Issues Paper that provided an overview of the current classification system, and an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.

Based on submissions in response to that Issues Paper, face-to-face consultations, and a review of relevant legislation and government reports, the ALRC has developed a set of eight draft principles for reform. We envisage them as the main principles that should underpin any new policy framework. They are:

  1. Australians should be able to read, hear, see and participate in media of their choice
  2. Communications and media services available to Australians should broadly reflect community standards, while recognising a diversity of views, cultures and ideas in the community
  3. Children should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them
  4. The National Classification Scheme needs to provide consumer information in a timely and clear manner, and to provide a responsive and effective means of addressing community concerns, including complaints
  5. The National Classification Scheme needs to be responsive to technological change and adaptive to new technologies, platforms and services
  6. The National Classification Scheme should not impede competition and innovation, and not disadvantage Australian media content and service providers in international markets
  7. Classification regulation should be kept to the minimum needed to achieve a clear public purpose, and should be clear in its scope and application
  8. Classification regulation should be focused upon content rather than platform or means of delivery

The ALRC is in the process of writing a discussion paper, which will contain detailed ideas and proposals for reform. The discussion paper will be released in September. In the meantime, the ALRC welcomes feedback from the public about these broad principles for reform and whether there are any others that should be included.

To facilitate this, we have set up an online discussion forum where you can comment on each of the proposals.