Following more three years of lobbying, Josh Cavaleri is proud to discuss Australia’s first major classification reform in nearly 20 years.
After more than 3 years of lobbying, Government reviews, senate inquiries and public hearings, we are pleased to confirm that the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Classification Tools and Other Measures) Bill 2014 (the Bill) has passed the Senate.
In summary, the new legislation will:
- Allow digitally distributed games to be classified using simple, accessible, and low cost classification tools that have been approved by the Minister (such as the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) tool);
- Allow the Minister to determine the types of modifications that will not require further classification (e.g. possibly removing the obligation to separately classify game modifications such as map packs, character packs and mission packs provided that such modifications are unlikely to change the classification of the original game); and
- Removing the requirement to classify certain games that are demonstrated at special events if appropriate age restrictions are in place.
The next steps for implementing these reforms include:
- Royal assent for the Bill – This usually takes within 2 weeks.
- Minister approval of IARC.
- Legislative instrument regarding modifications – IGEA will work with the Government to develop an appropriate legislative instrument that will remove the requirement to separately classify game modifications that are unlikely to change the classification of the original game.
- State and Territory amendments – certain reforms will require amendments to State and Territory laws (fortunately the IARC amendments will not require such State or Territory reforms).
The National Classification Scheme has finally been introduced to the digital world. IGEA will continue working with the Attorney-General¹s Department on the implementation of the reforms, further deregulation and the establishment of a new, national, industry-led classification scheme.
Leigh Harris, has also sat down with IGEA CEO, Ron Curry, to discuss the changes over on Develop