Modernising Australia’s National Classification Scheme - Stage 2 Reforms

We are seeking your feedback on the 3 priority areas for the second stage of reforms to the National Classification Scheme (the Scheme).

Why we want your input

The purpose of the Scheme is to help Australians make informed decisions about what they and those in their care read, hear, watch and play, and to protect the community from unwanted exposure to material they find offensive. Your views will contribute to the development of reforms to modernise Australia’s classification arrangements.

How you can voice your opinion

You can have your say by reading the Consultation Paper at the link below and making a submission with your views by 5pm AEST on Thursday 16 May 2024.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your submission will help inform the Australian Government’s approach to the second stage of classification reforms, helping to ensure the Scheme is fit-for-purpose and meets the needs of modern Australia.

The Issue

Australians rely on classification to make informed choices about the content that they, and those in their care, watch, read and play. 

The current Scheme was established in 1995 under cooperative arrangements between the Australian Government, and state and territory governments. It sets out the regulatory framework for classifying films (including episodic series not broadcast on television), computer games and certain publications.

Successive reviews, including the 2020 Review of Australian classification regulation, have found that the Scheme has not kept pace with the way Australians access media content, particularly the rapid growth in online content, or with evolving community standards. These reviews, as well as calls from industry, have highlighted that reform of the Scheme is long overdue. 

On 29 March 2023, the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, announced the government would undertake a two-stage process to reform the Scheme. The first stage of reforms will be implemented in full during 2024 and include:

  • introducing mandatory minimum classifications for gambling-like content in computer games
  • expanding options for industry to self-classify content using individuals who have been trained and accredited by government
  • extending the Classification Board’s powers to quality assure self-classification decisions
  • expanding exemptions from classification for low-risk cultural content
  • removing the need for content that has been classified under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, or by the national broadcasters, and has not changed, to be re-classified for distribution in other formats. 

The second stage of reforms will be more comprehensive in scope and will establish a framework for classification that is fit-for-purpose and will serve Australia into the future. 

We want to hear your views on the following 3 key areas identified for consideration as part of the second stage of classification reforms:

  1. clarifying the scope and purpose of the Scheme, including the types of content that should be classified
  2. ensuring the classification guidelines continue to be aligned with, and responsive to, evolving community standards and expectations, and 
  3. establishing fit-for-purpose governance and regulatory arrangements for the Scheme, under a single national regulator responsible for media classification.

Relevant documentation

Participate

04 Apr 2024 10:00 AEDT
16 May 2024 17:00 AEST
Open
days remaining 26 of 42

We invite you to to tell us your views on this topic.

Please include:

  • contact name
  • organisation name, if applicable
  • contact details, including telephone number, postal and email addresses
  • confirmation whether or not your submission can be made public—published—or kept confidential.

All submissions to be made public need to meet the Digital Service Standard for accessibility. Any submission that does not meet this standard may be modified before being made public.

If your submission is to be made public, please ensure you do not include any personal information that you don't want to be published.

If your submission is confidential, please ensure each page of the submission is marked as confidential.

Please click on the 'Have your say now' button below to upload your submission.

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Australian Privacy Principle 5 Notice

Modernising Australia’s National Classification Scheme - Stage 2 Reforms 

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the department) is collecting information for the purposes of developing options to reform the National Classification Scheme, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

The department will use this information to inform consideration of issues associated with the second stage of reform to the National Classification Scheme and will store this information securely. It may be used by the department to make further contact with you about the reforms.

The department will not disclose information to third parties, except in the circumstances outlined below.

Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the department's website unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including the author's name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.

Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential on each page.

Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, or
  • where required by law.

The department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

Please note that in order to protect the personal privacy of individuals in accordance with the Privacy Act any submissions containing sensitive information, personal information or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.

The department’s privacy policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes and how to access and/or seek correction of personal information held by the department. The Privacy Officer can be contacted on (02) 6274 6495 or by email: privacy@infrastructure.gov.au