A new National Classification Scheme

Guiding principles for reform

The ALRC identified eight guiding principles for reform directed to providing an effective framework for the classification and regulation of media content in Australia. These principles underpin the 57 recommendations for reform in this Report. The ALRC considers that these principles should inform the development of a new National Classification Scheme that can more effectively meet community needs and expectations, while being more responsive to the challenges of technological change.

The eight guiding principles are that:

  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. consumers should be provided with information about media content in a timely and clear manner, and with a responsive and effective means of addressing their concerns, including through complaints;
  5. the classification regulatory framework needs to be responsive to technological change and adaptive to new technologies, platforms and services;
  6. the classification regulatory framework 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
  8. classification regulation should be focused upon content rather than platform or means of delivery.