Censorship Review to Reveal All

Australian Coat of Arms (adopted 1912)

Source: PSNews

The Australian Law Reform Commission is to review the Australian censorship and classification system.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the final terms of reference for the review of the National Classification Scheme had been released following community consultation.

Mr McClelland said the review would consider issues such as existing Commonwealth, State and Territory classification laws; the current classification categories contained in the Classification Act, Code and Guidelines; the rapid pace of technological change; the need to improve classification information available to the community; the effect of media on children; and the desirability of a strong content and distribution industry in Australia.

Mr McClelland said the ALRC last reviewed classification standards 20 years ago.

“Given the advances in technology and media we’ve seen since then, it is timely this work is undertaken,” he said.

“I’ve asked the ALRC to develop options for ensuring the system of classification in Australia is able to accommodate developments in technology in light of media convergence and the global availability of media content.”

The Minister responsible for classification, Brendan O’Connor said technology was fast moving and the review would examine how the classification system could cater for advances into the future.

“A lot has changed in recent years,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Australians now access content through the Internet and mobile phones and that poses challenges for the existing classification scheme.

“We’re also seeing the convergence of different technology platforms and the worldwide accessibility of some content, which also creates new concerns.”
He said the appointment of a new ALRC Commissioner to work on the review would be announced shortly.

Mr O’Connor said the ALRC had been asked to provide its final report by 30 January 2012 and the terms of reference and further information were available from this PS News link.

He said the Commission would identify and consult with relevant stakeholders, including the community and industry, through widespread public consultation.

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