Classification Amendment Bill passed by Parliament

A key milestone in the process to reform the National Classification Scheme has been achieved.

The Classification Amendment Bill will modernise the National Classification Scheme by:

  • expanding options for industry to self-classify content including film and computer games using either in-house or third-party classifiers who have been trained and accredited by the Australian Government
  • extending the Classification Board's powers to quality assure self-classification decisions
  • expanding 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.

The changes will come into effect from early 2024. They will improve the capacity of the National Classification Scheme to classify growing volumes of content, promote industry compliance and reduce classification timeframes and costs. They will also increase access to cultural content in public libraries and approved cultural institutions.

Passage of the Bill, and work with the states and territories to introduce mandatory classifications for gambling-like games content, is the first stage in a two-stage process, announced by the government this year, to reform the scheme and make it fit for purpose in today's media environment. Targeted consultations with key stakeholders on the second stage of classification reforms, to 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 expectations have commenced. It is expected that a public consultation process will be undertaken in the first half of next year.

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