THE HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MPATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND JUSTICE MEDIA RELEASE
The Gillard Government today launched a comprehensive review of the National Classification Scheme to be conducted by the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland has referred the Scheme to the Australian Law Reform Commission and asked it to conduct widespread public consultation across the community and industry.
The Government today released the final terms of reference for the review of the National Classification Scheme following community consultation.
The review will consider issues including:
- existing Commonwealth, State and Territory classification laws
- the current classification categories contained in the Classification Act, Code and Guidelines
- the rapid pace of technological change
- the need to improve classification information available to the community
- the effect of media on children and
- the desirability of a strong content and distribution industry in Australia.
Mr McClelland said the ALRC last reviewed classification standards twenty years ago.
“That review helped to develop the cooperative scheme between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories that we have today,” Mr McClelland said.
“Given the advances in technology and media we’ve seen since then, it is timely this work is undertaken.
“I’ve asked the ALRC to develop options for ensuring the system of classification in Australia is able to accommodate developments in technology in light of media convergence and the global availability of media content.”
The Minister responsible for classification, Brendan O’Connor, said technology is fast moving and the review will examine how the classification system can cater for advances into the future.
“A lot has changed in recent years. Australians now access content through the Internet and mobile phones and that poses challenges for the existing classification scheme,” he said.
“We’re also seeing the convergence of different technology platforms and the worldwide accessibility of some content, which also creates new concerns,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Australians need to be confident that our classification system will help them make informed choices about what they choose to read, see, hear and play,” Mr O’Connor said.
“That’s particularly important for parents who rely on the National Classification Scheme to make sensible choices for their children,” he said.
The appointment of a new ALRC Commissioner to work on the review will be announced shortly.
The ALRC has been asked to provide its final report by 30 January 2012. The terms of reference and further information is available at www.alrc.gov.au.
(McClelland) 02 6277 7300 or 0427 225 763
(O’Connor) 0458 547 512 firstname.lastname@example.org