Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1809..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I present the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games (Enforcement) (Amendment ) Bill 2001. The Bill implements changes to the revised national cooperative censorship scheme through amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995.
The national scheme has been in place since January 1996. It is underpinned by the Commonwealth's Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) under which products are classification decisions to be enforced throughout Australia.
As with any new legislative scheme, experience has revealed the need for a number of technical and other changes to improve its operation. Some of these changes will be effected entirely at Commonwealth level upon commencement of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment Act 2001 (Cth). Those that require amendments to State and Territory legislation are based on model legislative provisions agreed to by Censorship Ministers.
Most of the Bill's provisions are necessary to take account of changes to the Commonwealth Act. For example:
The Commonwealth Act has been amended to clarify and extend the range of films and computer games which may be exempted from classification. These are typically products with limited market appeal. As the cost of classification services has a disproportionate impact on these products, this ensures their continued availability on the Australian market. Products can only be exempted if they are suitable for general consumption and fall within a specialist category, such as:
business, accounting, professional, scientific and educational films and software, which already fall outside the coverage of the classification scheme, or
religious, hobbyist, family, live musical and sporting films, which will be added to the list of exempt products.
The Bill ensures that dealings in these exempted products do not constitute an offence, as would otherwise be the case.
Amendments to the Commonwealth Act allow certain adult publications to receive a Category 1 Restricted classification provided they are wrapped in an opaque package prior to display or sale. This is relevant where a publication would only exceed this classification because of the stringent criteria that apply to publication covers.
Amendments to the Commonwealth Act will also allow certain publications to receive an Unrestricted classification on condition that they are sold or displayed for sale in a sealed package. This aims to prevent young children from accessing publications which might not be suitable for them, even though they might be suitable for older children and adults.
The Bill takes account of these changes, again at enforcement level.
The Bill will exclude aircraft on international flights from provisions of the principal Act that would presently apply to in-flight entertainment. This acknowledges the regulatory difficulties that arise when carriers spend only a small proportion of any journey within Australian airspace. As a carrier enters