Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor have announced a shake-up of censorship law in Australia through a review of the 1995 Classification Act.
determines where the line is drawn on various categories and forms of media. It legislates different levels of intensity and explicitness in images and words, setting out what can be accessed by various age groups in Australia. It designates
whether different media can be viewed in private (for example by a couple in their home) or in public, such as at a movie theatre.
The Classification Act is primarily concerned with what we commonly call entertainment,
news and information. More than any other federal act, its success relies on accurately gauging public opinion, and it is one of the main pieces of legislation that defines Australian morality .
government is asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to undertake the review, with submissions being sought throughout this year.
It will be unable to report to the government until at least mid-2012 and the
government most likely won't be able to act on the recommendations until 2013 -- close to another federal election. Hence it could be 2014 before this review bears any fruit.
At the same time, there are four other
reviews of the Classification Act, or aspects of it, being undertaken by various agencies.
In an appalling waste of resources, the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs has also announced an inquiry
into the Australian film and literature classification scheme .
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Update: Consultancy Submissions
16th March 2011. See
submissions from aph.gov.au