Classifications facing overhaul

Australia’s Classification system is set for an overhaul to ensure uniform changes across film, television, games, DVD and SVOD.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher wrote a piece for The Age yesterday referring to an outdated system and anomalies in media rules which were mostly made at a time when the internet did not exist.

“We have a veritable hodgepodge of arrangements in classification that dates back decades. It’s time to bring this framework into the twenty-first century.

“In developing a contemporary framework, we need to implement a structure that meets the needs of industry and provides information and protections for consumers to choose suitable content for themselves and their children,” he wrote.

“With increasing volumes of content to classify, good management of this process is vital.

“The review will examine opportunities for updating classification guidelines – and consider self-classification models. Television broadcasters already self-classify their content; Netflix has its own classification tool; and we have different requirements for films shown in the cinemas, to those distributed on DVDs and those shown on television.”

Fletcher’s comments are part of the government response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry.


  1. Apart from people with pre teen kids, does anyone actually care about ratings?? are mum, & dad going to say ‘no you’re 14 you can’t watch that movie that’s rated MA 15+?? And that’s the parents that actually give a damn or the kids who aren’t watching Youtube instead. What a gigantic waste of tax payers money!

  2. As long as they fix the rule where certain TV stations can get away with putting movies on at an earlier time and then changing the rating by splitting into 2 or 3 parts. That will be great!

    Is the Classification Board looking for submission requests?

    • That is absolutely trash – I stumbled on that the other week “London has Fallen” I think – I randomly turn the TV on – there’s a scene – a car blows up and it freezes and then says: “End of Part 1”

      Then part two starts after a brief warning – what followed was, basically the second part of that butchered scene when was a spectacularly graphic shootout in a public square.

      This cynical move by Nine to split the broadcast so they stay within the rules while getting the bigger audience available earlier in the night is just gross.

  3. I just wish they would change their large sticker type classifications on dvd and bluray covers. Often times obscuring the picture on the cover. (Very annoying for fans and collectors).

  4. RightWingConservative

    It’s fascinating watching society change over the years through the prism of classifications.

    I used to have a VHS recording of the 1989 movie K-9 recorded off the TV in the early 1990s. It was classified AO. Now when it airs it gets a PG rating.

    As a kid it was a movie about a dog which didn’t like being told what to do and eventually formed a mutual respect with his master. As I grew up, I started to understand the more “adult” themes. I sometimes wonder if we overclassify some things out of fear that kids will be too young to be exposed to a subject, when in fact the kids don’t even notice many of the more adult bits.

    • I remember the old classifications (but not much because I was in primary school, Grade 2 to be exact, when the classification changes occurred in 1993), but I don’t think there was a MAO classification. Correct me if I am wrong on that account as I was very young when it happened.

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