TV classification scheme to be reviewed for first time since 1995 as government begins implementing ACCC Digital Platforms response

The government is conducting a review into the classification scheme for the first time since the regulation’s 1995 inception, as implementation of its response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry begins.

As part of that response, released last month, the Morrison government agreed to develop a platform-neutral media regulatory framework, which includes standardising classification across delivery framework. The goal, the government said, is for the new framework to better reflect changing technology and community needs.

Minister Fletcher said the review will ‘modernise’ the scheme

“Australians are typically early technology adopters and the range of platforms and ways we consume and enjoy media and entertainment has changed dramatically over the last few decades,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said, emphasising that the review is necessary to modernise the existing scheme.

“I encourage all interested parties to make a submission to help us develop a contemporary framework that meets the needs of industry, and provides appropriate consumer information and protections.”

The review’s aim will be to update the criteria used to classify movies, TV shows and video games to ensure they reflect community standards, redesign the law, and devise a framework that provides classification information for the public across media formats.

Free TV’s CEO Bridget Fair said the review is “commonsense”, but content quotas are a priority for broadcasters.

“While we look forward to engaging with the Classification Review to achieve some commonsense reform, it is hard to overstate the pressing need for action on outdated content quotas,” Fair said.

“This is a priority for Free TV broadcasters, so we are hoping for concrete steps very soon from government in this area as well.”

Nine, Seven and Ten declined to comment.

All interested stakeholders and members of the public are invited to have their say during the consultation period, which will end at 5pm (AEDT) on Wednesday 19 February.

The submission paper, and details on how to make a submission, are available here.


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