Reform roundup

National Classification Scheme Review

On 19 March, the Hon Michael Keenan MP announced the ‘first tranche’ of reforms to the National Classifications Scheme. In line with ALRC recommendations in ALRC Report 118, the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Classification Tools and Other Measures) Bill 2014, introduced into Parliament on 19 March 2014, would amend the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) to:

  • broaden the scope of existing exempt film categories and streamline exemption arrangements for festivals and cultural institutions (see Rec 6-3)
  • enable certain content to be classified using classification tools (such as online questionnaires that deliver automated decisions) (see Rec 7-8) 
  • create an explicit requirement in the Classification Act to display classification markings on all classified content (see Rec 8-1)
  • expand the exceptions to the modifications rule so that films and computer games which are subject to certain types of modifications do not require classification again (see Rec 8-2)
  • enable the Attorney-General’s Department to notify law enforcement authorities of potential Refused Classification content without having the content classified first, to help expedite the removal of extremely offensive or illegal content from distribution (see Rec 12-3)