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Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment Bill 2004

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2002- 2003 - 2004

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, Attorney-General)



CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

OUTLINE

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment Bill 2004 (‘the Bill’) improves the operation of the classification scheme through a number of procedural amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (‘the Act’ or ‘the Classification Act’).

The Bill introduces common classification types for films and computer games. The new classification types will be known as ‘G’, ‘PG’, ‘M’, ‘MA 15+’, ‘R18+’ (for films only), ‘X18+’ (for films only) and ‘RC’.  This will remove the existing differences in the names of the film and computer games classification types.  Computer games with content higher than ‘MA 15+’ will continue to be refused classification.

The amendments to the Act are for the purpose of:

·          enhancing community awareness of the computer games classification scheme through the use of the well-known and understood classification types for films.

·          clarifying the hierarchy of the classification types, and the relative position in the classification hierarchy of classifications, to better assist consumers in making viewing choices for themselves or those in their care.

These are achieved by creating a distinction between the advisory classifications (‘G’, ‘PG’ and ‘M’) and the legally restricted classifications (‘MA 15+’, ‘R18+’ and ‘X18+’) through the inclusion of age references in the names of the restricted classification types and the removal of age descriptors from the advisory classifications (G(8+), M(15+)).

The change to the names of the classification types does not affect the type of material that is permitted within each classification.  The type of material that is permitted within each classification is assessed by the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board using the criteria set out in the National Classification Code (‘the Code’) and the relevant guidelines.

The amendments to the Act complement the Guidelines for Films and Computer Games which commenced operation on 30 March 2003.

Consequential amendments to the Code are necessary as part of the transition to common classification types.  These amendments, which have been agreed to by the Commonwealth and all States and Territories, will come into effect at the same time as Schedule 1.

Under the national classification scheme, the enforcement of classification decisions is the responsibility of the States and Territories.  Accordingly, each jurisdiction has enacted complementary classification enforcement legislation.  All States and Territories support the Bill and have agreed to make the consequential amendments to their classification enforcement legislation.  It is anticipated that the introduction of State and Territory legislation will follow passage of the Bill.

The Bill also makes consequential amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (‘the Broadcasting Services Act’) to update references to the classification types to reflect the amendments to the Act.  These include references in relation to classification of programs and films and the regulation of online content.  The consequential amendments do not affect the requirement for certain codes of practice made under the Broadcasting Services Act to apply the film classification system administered by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, including but not limited to the new classification types.  This will ensure common classification types across television and the entertainment media products that are classified under the Act.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The Bill will not result in any change to the net asset position for the Commonwealth. In particular, the amendments will not result in a loss of revenue or any reduction in the cost of operating the Classification Board, Classification Review Board and the Office of Film and Literature Classification.  Hence, no changes in operating expenses will result.

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS

The Bill contains a number of technical amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (‘the Act’ or ‘the Classification Act’) and consequential amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (‘the Broadcasting Services Act’).  A brief description of the main changes is set out below along with the item number in the Schedule that will effect the change.  A more detailed explanation of each item in the Schedule follows this summary (in the Notes on Clauses).

The proposed amendments will amend the names of the classification types for films and computer games to make them common, in order to effectively increase the awareness of the computer games classification scheme and enhance the distinction between the advisory and legally restricted classifications.  The change to the names of the classification types does not affect the type of material that is permitted within each classification. 

Some of the specific provisions that implement these amendments are as follows:

·          Item 6 of Schedule 1 substitutes the existing classification types in subsections 7(2) and (3) (Columns A and B) with the new classification types (Column C):

 

Column A

Column B

Column C

Existing Film Classification Types

Existing Computer Games Classification Types

Proposed Film and Computer Game Classification Types

G (General)

G (General)

G        General

PG (Parental Guidance)

G(8+)(General)

PG      Parental   

           Guidance

M (Mature)

M (15+) (Mature)

M        Mature

MA (Mature Accompanied)

MA(15+) (Mature Restricted)

MA 15+   Mature Accompanied

R (Restricted)

 

R 18+  Restricted

(this category applies to films only)

X (Restricted)

 

X 18+  Restricted      (this category applies to films only)

RC(Refused Classification)

RC (Refused Classification)

RC       Refused Classification

 

·          Item 1 of Schedule 1 amends the definition of ‘Code’ to remove reference to an obsolete version of the National Classification Code (which is currently a schedule to the Act) and to remedy a potential ambiguity in the provision.  Item 15 of Schedule 1 repeals the obsolete version of the Code and does not affect the legal status of the current Code, which is the code approved by Censorship Ministers and published in the Gazette.

·          Item 20 of Schedule 1 enables the Director of the Classification Board to determine markings for both the old and new classification types.  This will allow the Director to provide industry with the option of using either the old or new markings for previously classified films or computer games.  However, it is intended that the determination will specify that all films and computer games classified from the date of commencement will be required to display the new markings.

·          Schedule 2 makes consequential amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to update references to the classifications to reflect the amendments to the Classification Act.  These include references in relation to the classification of programs and films and the regulation of online content.  The consequential amendments do not affect the requirement for certain codes of practice made under the Broadcasting Services Act to apply the film classification system administered by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, including but not limited to the new classification types.

 



NOTES ON CLAUSES 

Clause 1 - Short title

1.       Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

Clause 2 - Commencement

2.       Sections 1 to 3 of the Bill will commence on the day the Bill receives Royal Assent.

3.       Schedules 1 and 2 will commence on proclamation.  The later commencement period of up to 12 months for the amendments to the Classification Act is necessary to allow sufficient time for complementary amendments to State and Territory classification enforcement legislation to be enacted.  Amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act will commence at the same time as the amendments to the Classification Act to enable consistent commencement of the new classification types. 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

4.       This clause provides that each Act that is specified in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 to this Act (ie the Classification Act and the Broadcasting Services Act) is amended as set out in that Schedule.  In addition, any other item in a Schedule has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1 - Amendment of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games Act) 1995

Item 1 - Section 5 (definition of Code )

5.       Item 1 amends the definition of Code in section 5 (Definitions) of the Act to address a potential ambiguity raised by the current definition.  On its face the provision as currently cast could be read, inappropriately, as enabling later references to the Code in the Act to mean either the Code as originally enacted (which is now out-of-date) or the Code as amended in accordance with Section 6 of the Act.  Item 1 clarifies that references to the Code in the Act are references to the Code as amended from time-to-time in accordance with Section 6 of the Act.

Item 2 - Section 5 (paragraph (b) of the definition of contentious material )

6.       Item 2 substitutes the reference to ‘M(15+)’ computer games with a reference to ‘M’ computer games in the definition of contentious material in section 5 (Definitions).  In this item, as in items 4 through to 14, the name of the classification type is amended to provide common names for films and computer games classification types (with the exception that only films can be classified ‘X18+’ or ‘R18+’).  There is no change to the type of material that is permissible within the classification category as a result of these amendments.

 

 

Item 3 - Section 5 (paragraph (b) of the definition of film )

7.       This item removes superfluous punctuation and text from the definition of film in section 5 (Definitions).

Item 4 -Paragraph 5B(3)(c) to (e)

8.       This item recasts the current provision to replace references to ‘M(15+)’ computer games with references to ‘M’ computer games.

Item 5 - Subsection 7(1)

9.       This item removes the parentheses from the descriptor ‘(Refused Classification)’ for the RC classification type for publications in order to be consistent with the names of the equivalent classification type descriptors for films and computer games.  Item 16 clarifies that this minor name change does not effect the interpretation of the Act prior to commencement.

Item 6 - Subsections 7(2) and (3)

10.     This item repeals the existing classification types for films and computer games in subsections 7(2) and (3) and substitutes them with the following classification types:

a.         for films:

 

G        General

PG      Parental   

           Guidance

M        Mature

MA 15+   Mature Accompanied

R 18+  Restricted

 

X 18+  Restricted

    

RC       Refused Classification

 

a.        for computer games

G        General

PG      Parental   

           Guidance

M        Mature

MA 15+   Mature Accompanied

RC       Refused Classification

 

1.       Item 6 also inserts a new subsection 7(4).  This subsection clarifies that the descriptor that follows each classification type, for example ‘General’ for ‘G’ , is included with the classification type for the purpose of explanation and does not form part of the classification. 

Item 7 - Subsection 17(3)

2.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘G(8+)’ and ‘M(15+)’ computer games with a reference to ‘PG’ and ‘M’ computer games respectively.

Item 8 - Paragraph 20(1)(a)

3.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘MA’, ‘R’ and ‘X’ films with a reference to ‘MA 15+’, ‘R18+’ and ‘X18+’ films respectively.

Item 9 - Paragraph 20(1)(b)

4.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘G(8+)’, ‘M(15+)’ and ‘MA(15+)’ computer games with a reference to ‘PG’, ‘M’ and ‘MA 15+’ computer games respectively.

Item 10 - Subparagraph 28A(2)(c)(vi)

5.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘M(15+)’ computer games with a reference to ‘M’ computer games.

Item 11 - Paragraph 28C(b)

6.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘M(15+)’ computer games with a reference to ‘M’ computer games.

Item 12 - Subsection 33(2)

7.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘X’ and ‘R’ films with a reference to ‘X18+’ and ‘R18+’ films respectively.

Item 13 - Subsection 42(5) (paragraph (b) of the definition of restricted decision )

8.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘MA’, ‘R’ and ‘X’ films with a reference to ‘MA 15+’, ‘R18+’ and ‘X18+’ films respectively.

Item 14 - Subsection 42(5) (paragraph (c) of the definition of restricted decision )

 

9.       This item substitutes the reference to ‘MA(15+)’ computer games with a reference to ‘MA 15+’ computer games.

Item 15 - Schedule

10.     This item repeals the Schedule to the Act which contains an out-of-date version of the National Classification Code.  Repealing the Schedule will avoid confusion that may occur through reference being made to the out-of-date version of the Code that was contained in the Schedule.  To assist readers, the current version of the Code will be inserted in a note to the Act each time that the Act is reprinted.

11.     Section 6 of the Act provides that if the Commonwealth Attorney-General and each participating State and Territory Censorship Minister agree to an amendment of the Code, the Code is taken to be amended accordingly.  Under the 1995 Intergovernmental Agreement relating to a revised co-operative legislative scheme for censorship in Australia, the amended Code is tabled in the Parliament of each participating jurisdiction.  The Code is not subject to disallowance in any Parliament. 

Item 16 - Application of amendments

12.     Subitem 16(1) specifies that the amendments to the Act made by Schedule 1 will apply on a prospective basis.  The item ensures that any classification or review applications that are on-hand but not decided on the commencement date shall be dealt with by the Classification Board or Classification Review Board (as applicable) using the new classification types specified in section 7.

13.      Subitem 16(2) clarifies that the insertion of subsection 7(4) by Item 6 does not affect the interpretation of section 7 prior to the commencement of Schedule 1.

Item 17 - Conversion of certain pre-commencement classifications of films to equivalent new classifications

14.     This item deems a film classification made under the Act prior to the commencement of Schedule 1 to have always been the equivalent new classification set out in the table specified under this item. 

15.     There are numerous provisions in the Act that involve the possibility of taking  action in respect of a film or computer game that will have been classified prior to the commencement of Schedule 1.  The classification that those products were given may not exist after the commencement of Schedule 1.  The conversion provision will enable the Act to operate in respect of films and computer games that have classifications that no longer exist by deeming those former classifications to be the comparable new classifications.

16.     An example is section 21A which deals with the revocation of the classification of a film or computer game that is found to contain contentious material.  Due to Item 17 the Board retains power to revoke the classification made prior to commencement of Schedule 1 (providing the other statutory tests for revocation are met) even though the classification that applies to the product is no longer mentioned in the Act.

Item 18 - Conversion of certain pre-commencement classifications of computer games to equivalent new classifications

17.     This item deems a computer game classification made under the Act prior to the commencement of Schedule 1 to have always been the equivalent new classification set out in the table specified under this item.

18.     This provision is required for the same reasons set out under Item 17.

Item 19 - Amendments not to affect validity of pre-commencement applications

19.      This item specifies that amendments made by Schedule 1 do not affect the validity of any application made under the Act before the commencement of the Schedule.  The provision is required to ensure that any applications pending at the time Schedule 1 commences are valid.

 

Item 20 - Markings for classifications

20.     Subitem (1) clarifies the operation of section 8 of the Act by extending the Director’s power to issue a determination to include the classification types that existed prior to the commencement of Schedule 1.  In the absence of this provision the Director could not determine markings, or the manner in which those markings are displayed, for old classification types.

21.     Subitem (2) clarifies the operation of section 8 of the Act by providing that the Director can determining a marking, or the display of a marking, for a classification type that existed prior to the commencement of Schedule 1, which is the same as the marking that is determined for a new classification type.  This provision removes any doubt that the Director could, for example, issue a determination that computer games classified ‘G(8+)’ could be marked as either ‘G(8+)’ or ‘ PG’.

Item 21 - Giving of certain documents referring to former types of classifications

22.     Subitem (1) removes any doubt that where the Director is required under section 27 of the Act to provide a copy of a classification certificate or notice that was issued prior to the commencement of Schedule 1, the copy provided by the Director will refer to classification types applicable when the certificate or notice was issued.

23.     Subitem (2) also removes any doubt that, after the commencement of Schedule 1, certificates issued under section 87 of the Act related to products classified prior to the commencement of Schedule 1 must include reference to the classification categories that were in place prior to the commencement of Schedule 1.  This provision does not prevent the certificates from also referring to the current equivalent classification type for the product.

 



Schedule 2- Amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Item 1- Paragraph 123(3A)(d)

24.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘MA’ films with a reference to ‘MA 15+’ films. This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of films classified as ‘MA’ will apply to films classified ‘MA 15+’. 

25.     This item, along with other items in this schedule pertaining to amendments to section 123 and Schedules 2 and 6 of the Broadcasting Services Act, is consequent to the changes to the names of the classification types under Schedule 1 and does not change the status quo in respect of requirements for Codes of Practice or conditions on broadcasting licences.  The provision also preserves the policy intention of common classifications across television and the classification system administered by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Item 2- Subsection 123(3B)

26.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘MA’ films with a reference to ‘MA 15+’ films.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the content of films classified as ‘MA’ will apply to films classified ‘MA 15+’.

Item 3- Paragraph 123(3C)(d)

27.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘MA’ films with a reference to ‘MA 15+’ films. This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of films classified as ‘MA’ at particular times will apply to films classified ‘MA 15+’.

Item 4- Subsection 123(3D)

28.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘MA’ films with a reference to ‘MA 15+’ films. This ensures that the existing restriction on the content of films classified as ‘MA’ will apply to films classified ‘MA 15+’.

Item 5- Paragraph 7(1)(g) of Schedule 2

29.     This item substitutes a reference to programs classified ‘X’ with a reference to programs classified ‘X18+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘X’ will apply to programs classified ‘X18+’.

Item 6- Paragraph 7(1)(ga) of Schedule 2

30.     This item substitutes a reference to films classified ‘R’ with a reference to films classified ‘R18+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of films classified ‘R’ will apply to films classified ‘R18+’.

Item 7- Paragraph 9(1)(g) of Schedule 2

31.     This item substitutes a reference to programs classified ‘X’ with a reference to programs classified ‘X18+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘X’ will apply to programs classified ‘X18+’.

Item 8- Paragraph 9(1)(ga) of Schedule 2

32.     This item substitutes a reference to R films with a reference to ‘R18+’ films.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of films classified ‘R’ now applies to programs classified ‘R18+’

Item 9- Paragraph 10(1)(f) of Schedule 2

33.     This item substitutes a reference to programs classified ‘X’ with a reference to programs classified ‘X18+’. This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘X’ will apply to programs classified ‘X18+’.

Item 10- Paragraph 10(1)(g) of Schedule 2

34.     This item substitutes references to programs classified ‘R’ with references to programs classified ‘R18+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘R’ will apply to programs classified ‘R18+’.

Item 11- Paragraph 11(3)(a) of Schedule 2

35.     This item substitutes a reference to programs classified ‘X’ with a reference to programs classified ‘X18+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘X’ will apply to programs classified ‘X18+’.

Item 12- Paragraph 11(3)(b) of Schedule 2

36.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘R’ films with a reference to ‘R18+’ films. This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘R’ will apply to programs classified ‘R18+’.

Item 13- Subclause 11(4) of Schedule 2

37.     This item substitutes a reference to programs classified ‘X’ with a reference to programs classified ‘X18+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the broadcasting of programs classified ‘X’ will apply to programs classified ‘X18+’.

Item 14- Clause 2 of Schedule 5

38.     Clause 2 of Schedule 5 is a simplified outline that describes the effect of the substantive provisions of Clause 5.

39.     This item omits unnecessary references to the descriptor of the RC classification type to ensure consistency with the drafting of other references to this classification throughout the schedule.  Omission of the references to the descriptor does not affect the interpretation of references to the classification type.

Item 15- Clause 2 of Schedule 5

40.     This item substitutes references to ‘X’ Internet content with references to ‘X18+’ Internet content in the explanation of prohibited content and in describing the actions to be taken by the ABA if it is satisfied that internet content is potential prohibited content.  This provision explains that Internet content that is prohibited content includes material that has been classified ‘X18+’ by the Classification Board.  It also explains the action able to be taken by the ABA in relation to material that is likely to be classified ‘X 18+’.

Item 16- Clause 2 of Schedule 5

41.     This item substitutes references to ‘R’ Internet content with references to ‘R18+’ Internet content in the explanation of prohibited content.  This explains that Internet content that is prohibited content includes material that has been classified ‘R18+’ by the Classification Board.

Item 17- Clause 2 of Schedule 5

42.     This item substitutes references to ‘R’ Internet content with references to ‘R18+’ Internet content in explaining the actions to be taken by the ABA if potential prohibited content is likely to be classified ‘R18+’ by the Classification Board.

Item 18- Subclause 6(1) and (2) of Schedule 5

43.     Clause 6 has the effect of automatically incorporating any changes to the ‘X’ classification prescribed in the Classification Act, into the Broadcasting Services Act.  For the sake of clarity this item amends clause 6 to substitute references to the ‘X’ classification with references to the ‘X18+’ classification.  It also notes that the heading to clause 6 is altered by omitting ‘X’ and substituting ‘X18+’.

44.     This item, along with other items in this schedule pertaining to amendments to Schedule 5 of the Broadcasting Services Act, is consequent to the changes to the names of the classification types under Schedule 1 and does not change the status quo in respect of the type of material that is prohibited content or potential prohibited content. 

Item 19- Paragraph 10(1)(a) of Schedule 5

45.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘X’ Internet content with a reference to ‘X18+’ Internet content. This item updates the definition of prohibited internet content to include material that has been classified ‘X18+’.

Item 20- Paragraph 10(1)(b) of Schedule 5

46.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘R’ Internet content with a reference to ‘R18+’ Internet content. This item updates the definition of prohibited internet content to include material classified ‘R18+’ where the material is not subject to a restricted access system.

Item 21- Subclause 10(2) of Schedule 5

47.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘X’ Internet content with a reference to ‘X18+’ Internet content. This item updates the definition of prohibited content for the purposes of Schedule 5 to include internet content hosted outside Australia that has been classified ‘X18+’.

Item 22- Subclause 16(4) of Schedule 5 (paragraph (a) of the definition of restricted classification )

48.     This item substitutes references to ‘MA’, ‘R’ and ‘X’ Internet content that does not consist of a computer game with  references to  ‘MA 15+’, ‘R18+’ and ‘X18+’ Internet content.  This item and item 23 ensure that the restricted classification for internet content that does not consist of a computer game applies to material classified ‘MA 15+’, ‘X18+’ and ‘R18+’.

Item 23- Subclause 16(4) of Schedule 5 (paragraph (b) of the definition of restricted classification )

49.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘MA(15+)’ Internet content that consists of a computer game with a reference to ‘MA 15+’ Internet content that consists of a computer game.

Item 24- Paragraph 30(2)(a) of Schedule 5

50.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘X’ Internet content with a reference to ‘X18+’ Internet content.  This provision ensures that the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has power to order a take-down notice if it is satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood that the Internet content would be classified ‘X18+’ were it to be classified by the Classification Board.  The provision also requires the ABA to request the Classification Board to classify the Internet content.

Item 25- Paragraph 30(2)(b) of Schedule 5

51.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘R’ Internet content with a reference to ‘R18+’ Internet content. This provision requires the ABA to request the Classification Board to classify internet content where the ABA is satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood that the Internet content would be classified as ‘R18+’.

Item 26- Paragraph 32(1)(b) of Schedule 5

52.     This item substitutes a reference to ‘R’ Internet content with a reference to ‘R18+’ Internet content and notes that the heading to clause 32 is altered by omitting ‘R-rated’ and substituting ‘R18+ rated’.  This item enables the ABA to revoke a take down order that it has made in relation to material classified ‘R18+’.  The provision does not amend the situations in which a take down order can be revoked.  The conversion provision at Item 31 will ensure that the revocation power applies to material that was classified ‘R’ prior to the commencement of this Schedule.

Item 27 - Paragraph 24(1)(e) of Schedule 6

53.     This item substitutes a reference to datacasting content that has been classified ‘X’ with a reference to ‘X18+’.  Paragraph 24(1)(e) requires a datacasting licencee not to transmit datacasting content that has been classified ‘X18+’ by the Classification Board.  The conversion provision at Item 31 will ensure that this requirement continues to apply to material that was classified ‘X’ prior to the commencement of this Schedule.

 

64. This item also removes from the Act an incorrect reference to datacasting content that has been classified as ‘NVE’.  The reference to ‘NVE’ was inserted into Schedule 6 by error by the Broadcasting Services (Digital Television and Datacasting) Amendment Act 2000 .  The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment Bill (No 2) 1999 included provisions prospectively abolishing the ‘X’ classification and creating a new ‘NVE’ classification.  This aspect of the Bill did not proceed and the consequential introduction of ‘NVE’ by the Broadcasting Services (Digital Television and Datacasting) Amendment Act 2000 introduced the reference to material classified ‘NVE’ by error.

 

Item 28 - Paragraph 24(1)(f) of Schedule 6

 

65.  This item substitutes a reference to datacasting content that has been classified ‘R’ with a reference to ‘R18+’.  The effect of this change is that a datacasting licencee cannot transmit datacasting content that has been classified ‘R18+’ by the Classification Board unless the provisions of subparagraph 24(1)(f)(i) and (ii) are met. The conversion provision at Item 31 will ensure that this requirement continues to apply to content that was classified ‘R’ prior to the commencement of this Schedule.

 

Item 29 - Subclause 28(5) of Schedule 6

 

66.  This item substitutes a reference to films classified ‘MA’ with a reference to ‘MA 15+’.  This ensures that the existing restriction on the content of films classified as ‘MA’ will apply to films classified ‘MA 15+’.  The conversion provision at Item 31 will ensure that this requirement continues to apply to films that were classified ‘MA’ prior to the commencement of this Schedule.

Item 30- Application

67. This item specifies that the amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act made by Schedule 2 will apply on a prospective basis.

68. The item ensures that, for example, any Internet content classification or review applications that are on-hand but not decided on commencement of Schedule 2 shall be dealt with by the Classification Board or Classification Review Board (as applicable) using the new classification types specified in section 7 of the Classification Act, as amended by this Act.

Item 31 - Conversion of certain pre-commencement classifications of films and programs etc. to equivalent new classifications

69. This item deems a film, program, Internet content not consisting of a computer game and datacasting content not consisting of an interactive computer game that had a classification that is listed in column 2 of the table to this item prior to the commencement of Schedule 2 to have, and to have had at all times prior to the commencement of Schedule 2, the equivalent new classification for the purposes of applying the Broadcasting Services Act.  The equivalent new classifications are set out in column 3 of the table to item 31.

 

Item 32 - Conversion of certain pre-commencement classifications of computer games etc. to equivalent new classifications

70. This item deems a classification made in relation to Internet content that is a computer game or datacasting content that consists of an interactive computer game under the Broadcasting Services Act prior to the commencement of Schedule 2 to have always been the equivalent new classification set out in the table specified under this item.  This item will enable the Act to operate in respect of applicable Internet and datacasting content that has a classification that no longer exists by deeming those former classifications to be the comparable new classifications.