A new National Classification Scheme

5.27 The ALRC proposes that a new National Classification Scheme should be enacted regulating the classification of media content. Essentially, the new scheme would replace the existing classification cooperative scheme for the classification of publications, films and computer games—based on the Classification Act and complementary state and territory classification enforcement legislation—and online content regulation under schs 5 and 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act.

5.28 In addition, bringing television content within the scheme would require the new scheme to encompass some matters currently dealt with by other parts of the Broadcasting Services Act, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act and the Special Broadcasting Service Act.

5.29 The Broadcasting Services Act, and codes under that Act, regulate broadcasting services and the content of television in ways that are not directly related to classification—including, for example, in relation to program standards for children’s content and Australian content.[5] The new National Classification Scheme would govern television content only in so far as it relates to classification. Other content matters would continue to be regulated by the ACMA under the Broadcasting Services Act and codes.[6]

[5] See Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) pt 9.

[6] And under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 (Cth) and Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 (Cth).