Changes make it easier for industry to classify films and computer games

The Australian Government’s first stage of reforms to the National Classification Scheme have commenced

The reforms are part of the Government’s commitment to modernise the classification scheme to make sure it remains a reliable source of information to guide Australians’ media choices, particularly when it comes to content shown to children.

With the commencement of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Industry Self-Classification and Other Measures) Act 2023, industry are now able to classify films and computer using classifiers who have been trained and accredited by Government.

This provides a new pathway to classify content, in addition to applying to the Classification Board or using an approved classification. The Classification Board will have oversight of industry self-classification decisions with the ability to replace such a decision if needed.

The reforms also:

  • Expand classification exemptions to include low-risk cultural content made available by libraries and museums
  • Introducing a ‘classify once’ principle so content classified for broadcast can be shown in other formats using the same classification.

Work on the second stage of classification reforms is underway, with public consultation to commence shortly. It is intended these further reforms will clarify the scheme’s purpose and scope, establish fit-for-purpose regulatory and governance arrangements, and improve the responsiveness of the scheme to evolving community standards and expectations.

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