Reform to the National Classification System


5 April 2013

Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare today announced that he would introduce the first stage of reforms to the National Classification System into Parliament during the winter session.

Mr Clare presented the reforms to the Standing Council on Law and Justice meeting in Darwin yesterday where State and Territory Minister’s agreed to the changes.

The reforms implement seven of the recommendations of the National Classification Scheme Review undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commission in 2012.

Ministers agreed to:

  • broaden the type of content that is exempt from the scheme and reduce the red tape associated with running festivals;
  • enable the use of automated classification decision making systems, starting with a pilot for mobile and online computer games;
  • include classification marking requirements in the Commonwealth Classification Act and revamp existing statutory instruments so they are clearer and simpler;
  • change the rules so that  2D and 3D versions of films or computer games  no longer need to be classified twice;
  • change the rules to allow minor modifications to be made to computer games without further classification;
  • a program of research to examine current classification categories, symbols and community standards in relation to media content; and
  • give explicit power to Commonwealth officials so that they can notify law enforcement authorities of content that is potentially Refused Classification prior to classification by the Classification Board.

Ministers will consider further reform at the next meeting of the Standing Council on Law and Justice in October.

Media contact: Ryan Hamilton – 02 6277 7290

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