3.1 This chapter outlines factors in the media environment that necessitate reform of media classification and the development of a new National Classification Scheme. It identifies the range of trends associated with media convergence, including: increased access to high-speed broadband internet; digitisation; globalisation; accelerated innovation; the rise of user-created content and the changing nature of the media consumer; and the blurring of distinctions between public and private media consumption.

3.2 The chapter also draws attention recent work undertaken by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) on ‘broken concepts’ in existing broadcasting and telecommunications legislation and their relevance to media classification.

3.3 The current classification scheme is inherently difficult to adapt to a convergent media environment, in part due to the different content regulation frameworks which results in a fragmentation of administrative oversight, and also because of the division of authority between the Commonwealth, the states and territories. Piecemeal responses to changes in technologies, markets and consumer behaviour have compounded existing ambiguities, creating uncertainty for both consumers and industry.