Review of the National Classification Scheme Announced


21 December 2010

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor will
ask the Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct a review of classification in Australia
in light of changes in technology, media convergence and the global availability of media
“As Australia’s foremost law reform institution the ALRC is well suited to lead this important
work. The Commission previously conducted an inquiry into laws relating to classification
and censorship in 1991,” Mr McClelland said.
Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor said current classification categories would be
considered as part of the review.
“It has become increasingly clear that the system of classification in Australia needs to be
modernised so it is able to accommodate developments in technology now and in the future,”
Mr O’Connor said.
“When the National Classification Scheme began, classifiable content and the way it was
delivered to consumers was relatively static.”
“Today, films can be watched in a cinema, on DVD, on TV or downloaded. Many video
games include significant film segments to tell stories, and some films have interactive
content. The National Broadband Network will increase this ready access to classifiable
“People, particularly parents, need a system of classification in Australia that allows them to
make informed choices about what they wish to read, see and hear,” Mr O’Connor said.
“This important review will look not only at classification categories, but also at the whole
classification system to ensure it continues to be effective in the 21st century.”
The National Classification Scheme is a cooperative scheme between the Commonwealth and
the States and Territories.
The Attorney-General’s Department is seeking comments on the proposed terms of reference
for the review. The proposed terms of reference can be found at
Any comments should be provided by 28 January 2011.

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