Page 285 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 December 2008

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The commonwealth act establishes the Classification Board, which is responsible for deciding the classification of material, and the Classification Review Board. The act also sets out the types of classifications, procedures for the classification of publications, films and computer games, requirements for approval for advertisements for materials, including advertisements for unclassified films, and review of classification decisions.

The commonwealth act was amended to give effect to the decision to integrate the Office of Film and Literature Classification into the Australian government Attorney-General’s Department. Amendments were also made to improve the functioning of the national classification regime.

Chiefly, the amendments ensure that the scheme adequately keeps abreast of technological changes in the industry, including the ability for manufacturers to place more material on individual DVDs. When compilations of classified films are put together onto one DVD, or additional material such as extra scenes, out-takes or interviews are added to the DVD after it has been classified, the previous provisions of the act made it necessary to reclassify the compilation as a new film.

The amendments to the commonwealth act mean that the administrative burden of reclassifying material that has already been classified will be reduced. The bill puts in place amendments that flow from the administrative changes I have mentioned and amendments that ensure that the types of modification permitted to classified material, production of compilations or inclusion of additional related material will not result in enforcement action.

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Amendment) (Assessment and Advertising) Bill 2008 (No 2) enables unclassified films and computer games to be advertised prior to classification in accordance with specified conditions. Previously, these products were only available for classification very close to their release date because of concerns about piracy.

At the same time, the prohibition on unclassified advertisements in the products restricted the ability of industry to market them effectively. The amendments require a new advertising scheme message to be displayed with the product, directing consumers to check classification. I will be involved in the development of the advertising scheme, along with the other state and territory censorship ministers.

This bill puts in place amendments that ensure that the advertisements for unclassified material under the new scheme will not result in enforcement action and that breaches of the new advertising scheme can be enforced. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Freedom of Information Amendment Bill 2008 (No 2)

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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