Classify notices

6.95 Where the Regulator becomes aware of unclassified content that the new Act mandates must be classified, the Regulator should have the power to issue a notice to the content provider, requiring the content provider to have the content classified. This is similar to the existing power of the Director of the Board to call in content for classification. However, the ALRC recommends that the Regulator, rather than the Director of the Board, have this power to require classification.[84] This notice also differs from a call-in notice in that a person may comply with the notice by either engaging an authorised industry classifier or the Board to classify the content.[85]

6.96 Those who routinely provide content that must be classified—for example, cinema-release film distributors and television broadcasters—should have their content classified without receiving a notice. However, if they fail to do so, the Regulator should have the power to issue a classify notice for a category of content, rather than simply one piece of content, provided the content provider can be reasonably expected to identify the content that falls within the category identified in the notice.

6.97 The Regulator should only have the power to issue these classify notices for content that must be classified, and should exercise this power having regard to its enforcement guidelines.[86] Civil, criminal and administrative penalties in relation to classification obligations are discussed in Chapter 16.

Recommendation 6–5 The Classification of Media Content Act should enable the Regulator to issue a ‘classify notice’ to a content provider who provides unclassified content that the Act mandates must be classified. Such notices may relate to a specific piece of content, or for a category or class of content.

[84] The powers of the Regulator are discussed in Ch 14.

[85] However, there will still be a role for call in notices: see Ch 7.

[86] See Ch 16.