Issue 4 | 5 July 2011 View original format
Reminder – submissions due COB 15 July!
To date the ALRC has received over 70 public submissions in response to the Issues Paper we released in May, and most of these can be viewed on the ALRC website. We remind everyone who has not yet completed their submission, that the closing date for submissions – 15 July – is fast approaching!
A particular reminder to people who have started submissions using the online form. We can see that many of you have begun answering the questions, and saved the form, perhaps intending to complete it at a later time. Please make sure that you complete the form and use the “submit” button, so that your submissions can be given full consideration.
The month in summary
The Classification Review team has been very active with industry and stakeholder consultations in Sydney and Canberra, with trips to Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane forthcoming. We have met with representatives of the games industry, the television sector, the film distribution and DVD industries, the mobile telecommunication sector, and Internet companies, as well as representatives of the churches, the adult film and magazine industry, academic experts and relevant government agencies. The Inquiry is seeking to maximise industry insight in its first round of consultations, and to engage in more public consultations following the release of the Discussion Paper in September.
While the ALRC Classification Review team has been undertaking its work, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee released its final report, Review of the National Classification Scheme: Achieving the Right Balance.
The Senate Committee’s report has received much publicity, particularly around its recommendations that classification powers should be ceded by the states and territories to the Commonwealth, and that the ‘artistic merit’ criteria be removed for consideration of whether depictions of children may be deemed pornographic. The latter recommendation has attracted much commentary in the media, for example:
- Sydney Morning Herald: Call for porn laws overhaul
- The Age: Censors should grow up: adults can handle sex
The Senate Committee had quite different terms of reference to the ALRC Review, with more of a focus on established media such as magazines, advertising and billboards, whereas the ALRC has been explicitly asked to consider the implications of convergence and the relationship of the National Classification Scheme to the emergent digital content and distribution industries. Nonetheless, the Senate Committee has recommended that the ALRC Review be advised to consider in detail its findings and recommendations, and the Classification Review team are currently doing that. We thank Senator Guy Barnett and his committee, and the team that worked on the review, for their important contribution to the national debate on media classification, and there will no doubt be a lively debate on these issues at the forthcoming meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) in Adelaide on 21-22 July.
You can find an archive of recent media items relating to the ALRC’s Classification Inquiry on its Facebook page.