A Review into the Australian Communications and Media Authority has recommended the regulator take over the functions of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board Scheme.
It found content classification in Australia is highly fragmented and responsibility for regulation is split across the Classification Board, the ACMA, the Children’s eSafety Commissioner and state and territory law enforcement bodies.
While films in cinemas and on DVD are classified by the Classification Board, the same content on television is classified under ACMA. Online films and computer games fall under the responsibility of both the Classification Board and the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.
The Review has concluded that the ACMA would be well placed to administer a harmonised
classification scheme, including associated industry self-classification arrangements and
electronic classification tools.
This would unite online and offline classification functions within a modernised classification scheme for the benefit of consumers and industry.
While the Classification Board noted in its submission that the community values its independence and impartiality and that its members are broadly representative of the Australian community the
Review said ACMA makes decisions independently of government and provides options for incorporating community views in its decision-making.
The Review also recommended splitting the Chair and Chief Executive Roles to allow the Chair to focus on strategic direction with the CEO responsible for administration and operational performance.