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Classification Board and Classification Review Board Annual Reports 2017-18

Classification Board and Classification Review Board Annual Reports 2017–18

© Commonwealth of Australia 2018
ISSN 1327-6182

This Annual Report 2017–18 is protected by copyright.

With the exception of third party material, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and any material contained within which is protected by trademark, all material included in this Annual Report 2017–18 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

The CC BY 4.0 AU Licence is a standard form licence agreement that allows you to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt material in this publication provided that you attribute the work. Further details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 4.0 International licence (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode).

The form of attribution for any permitted use of any materials from this publication (and any material sourced from it) is:

Source: Licences from the Commonwealth of Australia under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. The Commonwealth of Australia does not necessarily endorse the content of this publication.

Other use

The use of any material from this publication in a way not permitted or otherwise allowed under the Copyright Act 1968, may be an infringement of copyright. Where you wish to use the material in a way that is not permitted, you must lodge a request for further authorisation with the Department of Communications and the Arts.

Contact details

This report can be viewed online at www.classification.gov.au
If you would like additional information on the report, please contact:

Classification Branch
Department of Communications and the Arts
Level 6
23–33 Mary Street
SURRY HILLS NSW 2010

Postal address:
Locked Bag 3, HAYMARKET NSW 1240

Telephone: 02 9289 7100
Facsimile: 02 9289 7101
enquiries@classification.gov.au
www.classification.gov.au

Contents

Introduction

Overview of the National Classification Scheme

Commonwealth

States and territories

Other functions

Corporate overview

Legislative governance structures

Administrative arrangements

Establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical standards

Membership

Freedom of Information

Categories of documents

Privacy

Reports by the Auditor-General

Changes to the National Classification Scheme

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Classification Board Annual Report 2017–18

Director’s letter of transmittal

Director’s overview

Classification Board profiles

Current Board members

Temporary Board members

Statistics

Timeliness of decisions

Comparison with last year’s workload

Quality decision making

Publications

Serial classification declarations for publications

Films classified for public exhibition

Films classified for sale/hire

Computer games

Approved classification tools

Other functions

Decisions

Films

Computer games

Publications

Other decisions

Correspondence

Classification Review Board Annual Report 2017–18

Convenor’s letter of transmittal

Introduction

Convenor’s overview

Classification Review Board profiles

Current Review Board members

Legislative base

Decisions of the Review Board

Attendance at Review Board meetings

Complaints

Judicial decisions

Appendices

Appendix: National Classification Code

National Classification Code

Publications

Films

Computer games

Glossary

Index

Tables

Table 01: Board workload

Table 02: Board workload – comparison

Table 03: Tool decisions taken to be decisions of the Board – comparison

Table 04: Commercial (single issue) publications decisions by classification

Table 05: Serial classification declarations granted by classification

Table 06: Decisions on commercial films classified for public exhibition

Table 07: Decisions on commercial films classified for sale/hire

Table 08: Commercial computer games decisions by classification

Table 09: Commercial computer game applications Refused Classification (RC) by reason

Table 10: Advertising assessments for films

Table 11: Enforcement application decisions by agency

Table 12: Decisions of the Review Board

Table 13: Attendance at Review Board meetings

Figures

Figure 01: Publication classification decisions

Figure 02: Serial publication classification declarations

Figure 03: Decisions on films classified for public exhibition

Figure 04: Decisions on commercial films classified for sale/hire (including ACA and ATSA)

Figure 05: Computer game classification decisions (including AACG)

Introduction

This report includes the reports of the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board. A copy of this report is available online at www.classification.gov.au, as are Annual Reports from previous years.

Information about the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board is also available on the Australian Classification website at www.classification.gov.au.

The Classification Branch of the Department of Communications and the Arts provides administrative support to both the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board. Further information about the Classification Branch is available in the Department of Communications and the Arts Annual Report 2017–18 at www.communications.gov.au.

Overview of the National Classification Scheme

The National Classification Scheme (the Scheme) is a co-operative scheme established and maintained by agreement between the Commonwealth and all State and Territory governments in Australia. The Intergovernmental Agreement on Censorship, that was executed in 1995, underpins the Scheme.

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth) (the Classification Act), provides for a National Classification Code (the Code) and Classification Guidelines for films, computer games and publications (the Guidelines). The Classification Board (the Board) makes decisions about films, computer games and certain publications. The Board is independent from government. The Classification Review Board (the Review Board) is an independent statutory body responsible for reviewing certain decisions of the Classification Board. The Review Board is independent of both the Board and the government.

The states and territories are responsible for regulating the sale, exhibition and advertising of classifiable content. Each state and territory has its own classification Act that is enforced by state or territory police or law enforcement bodies. There are also some Commonwealth offence provisions in the Classification Act which are part of the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory legislation package (formerly known as the Northern Territory Emergency Response) as well as offences regarding the unlawful use of markings in relation to goods other than films, computer games or publications.

Commonwealth

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth)

The Classification Act establishes the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board which act independently of each other. The Classification Act requires that, in appointing members of the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board, regard is to be had to the desirability of ensuring that membership of the Boards is broadly representative of the Australian community.

The Classification Act also sets out:

  • powers and functions of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board
  • statutory criteria for applications for the review of classification decisions
  • that the Minister may approve classification tools to generate decisions and consumer advice
  • the assessor schemes that enable industry to self-assess content and submit their classification recommendations to the Board
  • statutory requirements for applications for classification
  • rules regarding exemption from classification for unclassified films, computer games and certain publications
  • requirements for advertising of films, computer games and publications
  • provisions for the approval of advertisements for films, computer games and publications
  • provisions for reclassification, and handling prohibited material in prohibited material areas.

The Classification Act is available online at www.legislation.gov.au.

There is a range of determinations, instruments and principles made under the Classification Act available online at www.classification.gov.au/About/Pages/Legislation.aspx or www.legislation.gov.au.

When making decisions, the Board and the Review Board apply the Classification Act, the Code, and the three statutory Guidelines.

National Classification Code

The Classification Board and the Classification Review Board must make classification decisions in accordance with the Code which broadly describes the classification categories. The Code is agreed to by Commonwealth, state and territory ministers with responsibility for classification.

Classification guidelines

The three guidelines are used by the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board to assist them in applying the criteria in the Code by describing the classification types, and setting out the scope and limits of material suitable for each classification type. The classification guidelines are approved by all ministers with responsibility for classification.

States and territories

As partners in the Scheme, each state and territory has classification legislation that complements the Commonwealth Classification Act. The legislation sets out how films, publications and computer games can be sold, hired, exhibited, advertised and demonstrated in that jurisdiction. It prescribes penalties for classification offences and provides for enforcement of classification decisions. Some states and territories retain powers to classify or reclassify material. South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have legislated concurrent classification powers, and they have also reserved the power to reclassify publications, films and computer games already classified by the Classification Board (Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (SA) s 17; Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1995 (Tas) s 41A; Classification of Publications, Films and Computer Games Act 1995 (NT) s 16).

Other functions

In addition to making classification decisions about films, computer games and certain publications, the Classification Board and the Director of the Classification Board perform a number of other functions under the Scheme.

Exemptions to show unclassified content

Under the Conditional Cultural Exemption Rules, event organisers assess their eligibility for exemption to exhibit unclassified films, computer games and certain publications. If they comply with the standard conditions, event organisers register their event online.

Some organisations that conduct activities of an educational, cultural or artistic nature and have a sound reputation may be eligible to become Approved Cultural Institutions (ACIs). ACIs are not required to register their events but instead undertake training provided by the Classification Branch. Trained persons then assess unclassified material for events held under the auspices of the ACI and must ensure compliance with legislative requirements.

In exceptional circumstances, where the prescribed conditions cannot be met, an organisation may still apply to the Director of the Classification Board for a waiver or variation to the exemption rules.

Assessor schemes

Several schemes have been established that enable authorised industry assessors to submit content for classification. Under the schemes, the Board is still responsible for the decision, which is informed by the assessor’s report.

Applications for classification may be lodged under the following voluntary assessor schemes:

Authorised Assessor Scheme for Computer Games (AACG)

The Director of the Classification Board may authorise trained persons to recommend the classification for a computer game.

An authorised assessor may submit an application recommending the classification and consumer advice for a computer game if the computer game is likely to be classified G (General), PG (Parental Guidance) or M (Mature). The Classification Board may accept or vary the recommendation.

Additional Content Assessor (ACA) Scheme

The Director of the Classification Board may authorise trained persons to assess additional content which accompanies a previously classified or exempt film released for sale or hire. Additional content includes material such as “making of” documentaries, out-takes and commentaries or interviews with the director or actors and does not include television programs, series or computer games.

An authorised assessor may submit an application recommending the classification and consumer advice for the additional content. The Classification Board may accept or vary the recommendation.

Authorised Television Series Assessor (ATSA) Scheme

The Director of the Classification Board may authorise trained assessors to assess films that consist of one or more episodes of a television series, as well as any series-related content. At least one episode of the television series must have been broadcast in Australia. The scheme does not apply to films that would be classified X 18+ (Restricted) or RC (Refused Classification). An authorised assessor may submit an application recommending the classification and consumer advice for the television series. The Classification Board may accept or vary the recommendation.

Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme

The Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme (the Advertising Scheme) allows for the advertising of unclassified films and computer games under certain conditions. The conditions are prescribed in the Classification (Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme) Determination 2009 (the 2009 Determination).

The primary condition is that advertising for unclassified films and computer games must display the message “Check the Classification” (or “CTC” in its shortened form).

Check the Classification written in black box 

For certain forms of advertising, once a film or computer game is classified, the “Check the Classification” or “CTC” message must be replaced with the classification marking.

Prior to classification, however, trailers/advertisements for unclassified films and games may be advertised with films or games that have already been classified, provided that an assessment of the likely classification of the film or game has been made either by the Classification Board or by a trained advertising assessor employed by industry. Once this assessment has been made, the “commensurate audience” rule becomes applicable. This means that the trailers/advertisements for unclassified films and games may only be advertised with content of the same or higher classification. For example, if there is an advertisement for an unclassified game and it is determined (by the Classification Board or an assessor) that the game will have a likely classification of M, then the advertisement may only be shown alongside of games that already have an M, MA 15+ or R 18+ classification.

The Advertising Scheme includes a number of safeguards and sanctions. These include the Director of the Classification Board having power to revoke or suspend an assessor’s authorisation, and to prohibit a distributor from advertising their unclassified products for up to three years, in certain circumstances.

Permission to import or export objectionable goods

The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the Prohibited Imports Regulations) prescribe classes of goods that must not be imported into Australia. The Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (the Prohibited Exports Regulations) prescribe classes of goods that must not be exported from Australia.

The Australian Border Force can detain or seize any material that may contravene Regulation 4A of the Prohibited Imports Regulations or Regulation 3 of the Prohibited Exports Regulations. The criteria in Regulation 4A and Regulation 3 accord with the RC criteria in the Code and the Classification Act. The Australian Border Force may apply for classification of items intercepted at the border. Organisations such as the Australian Border Force, the various Australian police forces, and public and private art galleries apply to import and export material from time to time.

The Director and Deputy Director of the Classification Board are authorised under subregulation 4A(2A) of the Prohibited Imports Regulations and subregulation 3(3) of the Prohibited Exports Regulations to grant requests for permission to import goods to which the Prohibited Imports Regulations apply, or to export goods to which the Prohibited Exports Regulations apply.

Online content

Under Schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA), the Classification Board classifies internet content on application from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. If the Office of the eSafety Commissioner receives a valid complaint about Australian hosted online content, or discovers potential prohibited content on its own initiative, it may, and in some cases must, submit the content to the Classification Board for classification. The Commissioner then takes appropriate action in respect of online content.

Corporate overview

Legislative governance structures

The Classification Board

The Classification Board is an independent statutory body established under the Classification Act which comprises a Director, a Deputy Director, and other members.

For the majority of the reporting period, the position of Deputy Director was vacant.

The Director

The Director of the Classification Board has a range of statutory functions under the Classification Act which includes:

  • managing the administrative affairs of the Classification Board
  • convening and presiding at Classification Board meetings
  • determining the constitution of the Classification Board for classifying particular products
  • determining how decisions are recorded
  • arranging the business of the Classification Board
  • calling in publications, films and computer games for classification
  • determining procedures for the Classification Board
  • providing the Minister with the Classification Board’s Annual Report.

In addition to the Director’s powers in relation to the Classification Board, the Classification Act confers a number of additional functions and powers on the Director, which includes:

  • approving forms for the purpose of the Classification Act
  • providing certificates and notice of decisions, including evidentiary certificates
  • authorising industry assessors.

The Director and Deputy Director of the Classification Board are authorised to grant permission to import or export prohibited or potentially prohibited goods in accordance with the Prohibited Imports Regulations and Prohibited Exports Regulations.

The Classification Review Board

The Classification Review Board is an independent statutory body established to review decisions of the Classification Board.

An application may be made to the Classification Review Board to review a decision of the Classification Board.

See page 69 for more information on the Classification Review Board.

The Convenor

The Convenor of the Classification Review Board has a range of statutory functions under the Classification Act which includes:

  • managing the administrative affairs of the Classification Review Board
  • determining the constitution of panels of the Classification Review Board to review decisions
  • determining how decisions are recorded
  • arranging the business of the Classification Review Board
  • providing the Minister with the Classification Review Board’s Annual Report.

In addition to the Convenor’s powers in relation to the Classification Review Board, the Classification Act confers a number of additional functions and powers which includes:

  • approving forms for the purpose of the Classification Act
  • providing certificates and notices of decisions, including evidentiary certificates.

Administrative arrangements

The Department of Communications and the Arts (the department) is responsible for the financial management of the operations of the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board.

The Classification Branch undertakes the following functions:

  • providing policy and operational advice on classification issues to the ministers with classification responsibilities
  • providing secretariat services to the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board
  • providing classification education and training for industry and government bodies.

Meetings

The Classification Board has meetings, generally weekly, to discuss classification decisions and other procedural issues.

The Classification Review Board is a part-time board and convenes only to deal with applications for review.

Effective liaison with the Department of Communications and the Arts

The Classification Board and Classification Review Board maintain effective liaison with the department through both formal and informal meetings and interactions.

Stakeholder liaison

The Classification Board maintains effective liaison arrangements with ministers, officials with responsibility for classification, peak industry body and university representatives, international classification colleagues, community members and interest groups, and other classification stakeholders. The Classification Board provides information about decisions to interested parties as well as advice to industry assessors to promote professional development on classification issues.

The Classification Review Board provides information to interested parties.

Financial management, accountability and reporting

Classification is carried out largely on a cost recovery basis with fees for classification set in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Regulations 2005 (the 2005 Regulations). Fees for the review of a decision are based on partial cost recovery to enable access to reviews of a classification decision, while discouraging vexatious or frivolous applicants. Revenue from classification fees for 2017–18 was $3,702,390.

Costs and revenue for classification are included in the department’s Annual Report 2017–18. The report is available at www.communications.gov.au.

Risk management

Management of risk is undertaken in accordance with the department’s risk management framework and fraud control plan and procedures.

Website

The Australian Classification website address is www.classification.gov.au. Information is tailored to user groups such as the public, industry and law enforcement agencies. The website contains a public access database, the National Classification Database (NCD) of classification decisions of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board. Information on the NCD incorporates classification and consumer advice in the search results, including a classification matrix which shows the level of each classifiable element in the film or computer game, providing additional advice when the element is not mentioned in the consumer advice. The NCD also includes classification decisions for submittable publications.

In the reporting year, there have been 1,078,633 visits to the website.

Establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical standards

Ethical standards

The Classification Act makes provision for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest by members of both Boards.

The Classification Act provides that full-time members of the Classification Board must not engage in outside employment without the consent of the Minister. The Minister has delegated the authority to approve secondary employment to the Director of the Classification Board. This requirement does not apply to service in the Australian Defence Force. During the reporting year, the Director was not asked to consider any requests for external employment for permanent members of the Board. It is noted, however, that temporary Classification Board members may undertake other paid employment elsewhere, and these Board members disclose such work to the Director who ensures that there is no perceived or actual conflict of interest when temporary Board members are engaged for Board work.

The Classification Board has a code of conduct applicable for all members, full-time and temporary.

External accountability

The Classification Board and Classification Review Board work within an accountability framework which includes parliamentary scrutiny, the Crimes Act 1914, the Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Privacy Act 1988 and the Ombudsman Act 1976.

Membership

Appointments to the Classification Board and Classification Review Board are made by the Governor-General, following a recommendation by the Minister. Before making a recommendation, the Classification Act requires the Minister to consult with state and territory ministers with responsibility for classification about the proposed recommendations. Appointments are made for fixed terms and members are eligible to serve a statutory maximum term of seven years.

Under section 50 of the Classification Act, the Minister may appoint temporary members of the Classification Board if it is necessary to do so for the efficient dispatch of the Classification Board’s business. The Minister has authorised the Director to perform this function.

Sections 66 and 84 of the Classification Act provide that the Minister may appoint a person to act as a member during a vacancy in the Classification Board and Classification Review Board respectively.

Conditions

The Remuneration Tribunal determines the entitlements of Classification Board and Classification Review Board members in relation to remuneration, annual leave and official travel. These determinations are available on the Remuneration Tribunal website at www.remtribunal.gov.au.

Freedom of Information

In accordance with section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), this section of the report contains information about FOI procedures and access to documents.

Three applications were received for access to Classification Board documents under the FOI Act during the reporting period, of which two were finalised.

No applications were received for access to Classification Review Board documents.

Applicants seeking access to documents under the FOI Act should contact:

The FOI Officer
Department of Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 2154
CANBERRA ACT 2601
foi@communications.gov.au

Categories of documents

The following categories of documents are maintained by the department on behalf of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board:

  • applications under the Classification Act
  • documents relating to decisions of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board.

Reasons for decisions of the Classification Review Board are available on the Australian Classification website at www.classification.gov.au.

The following categories of documents are publicly available at www.classification.gov.au:

  • the Classification Act
  • the Code
  • the three classification Guidelines
  • the 2005 Regulations
  • Determinations, Principles and other instruments made under the Classification Act
  • Annual Reports
  • application forms for classification and review.

Privacy

The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) in the Privacy Act 1988 set out requirements for agencies in handling personal information. The relevant privacy policy is at www.communications.gov.au/privacy-policy. It outlines how responsibilities in relation to records containing personal information held by the department in administratively supporting the work of the Classification Board and Classification Review Board are met. For more information please contact the Classification Branch:

The Classification Branch
Locked Bag 3
HAYMARKET NSW 1240

Telephone: 02 9289 7100
enquiries@classification.gov.au

Reports by the Auditor-General

There were no reports on the operation of the Classification Board or the Classification Review Board by the Auditor-General in the reporting period.

Changes to the National Classification Scheme

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Films) Instrument 2015 was amended on 25 January 2018. This means that the rules about when a modified film needs to be submitted for classification have changed.

The following new exceptions have been added to the Instrument to cover modifications that consist of:

  • format changes
  • colour grading, visual effects or audio level changes
  • omitting footage or audio.

These types of modified films do not have to be submitted for classification and take the same classification and consumer advice as the original classified film, provided that the modification is not likely to cause the modified film to be given a different classification to the original film.

If a film’s title is changed or a film is modified by adding footage or audio, the film will need to be submitted for classification.

Commonwealth Ombudsman

No matters involving the Classification Board or the Classification Review Board were dealt with by the Commonwealth Ombudsman during 2017–18.

Classification Board Annual Report 2017–18

Director’s letter of transmittal

Australian Govenrment Classification Board Logo 

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield MP
Minister for Communications and the Arts
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with subsection 67(1) of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, I am pleased to submit a report on the management of the administrative affairs of the Classification Board for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Yours sincerely

Signature of Margaret Anderson
Margaret Anderson
Director

14 September 2018

Locked Bag 3, HAYMARKET NSW 1240
Telephone 02 9289 7100 Facsimile 02 9289 7101 www.classification.gov.au

Director’s overview

Director’s overview

Photo of Margaret Anderson 

I am pleased to be able to present my first Annual Report as the Director of the Classification Board (the Board) for the year ended 30 June 2018. During the five years I have worked at the Board (the first four as the Deputy Director), there have been noticeable changes in the nature and format of the media submitted for classification, the shape, structure and content of the Australian media entertainment landscape, and the staffing structure and business units of the Classification Branch (the Branch) which supports the Board.

It is 23 years since the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the Classification Act) was passed by the Commonwealth Parliament, and even longer since the public policy underpinning that legislative model was considered, consulted upon and settled. The Classification Act realised the National Classification Scheme, which recognised the importance of an independent Classification Board.

At the time of the development of the Scheme, the internet was in its infancy and the transformational impact it would have on the world was yet to eventuate. The changes to Australia’s internet use, broadband streaming and media consumption since that time have been enormous, impacting upon media delivery methods, computer gaming and the number of hard copy publications.

Australia’s digital footprint and Netflix classification tool

Digital in 2018 in Oceania reported in January 2018 that 88 percent of Australia’s population are internet users, with televisions and mobile phones being the most popular usage devices. The average time spent per day is just over three hours on TV viewing time (broadcast, streaming and all kinds of Video on Demand (VOD)). Sixty percent watch online videos every day and 22 percent watch online videos every week. This finding correlates with a rise in the number of applications submitted over the past reporting year for classification by V2Solutions, which submits content via streaming of films which screen on YouTube Red and iTunes. The Board is pleased to see this portion of the entertainment industry complying with legislative classification requirements, as it results in viewers of online media being informed about film content by having classifications and consumer advice that are relevant for Australian society.

Despite the increasing demand for streaming and VOD, the number of films submitted for initial theatrical release in a cinema also continued to increase, from 551 last reporting year to 618 this reporting year, an increase of 12%.

Over the past two reporting years, an increasing number of films has been classified by the ‘Netflix classification tool’: in 2016/17, the Netflix tool produced 1,014 decisions and this year, it produced 1,776 decisions. The Netflix tool was subject to a pilot between December 2016 and May 2018 to assess its performance. As at 30 June 2018, an evaluation of the pilot had been concluded, however, the report of the evaluation was being finalised, yet to be submitted to government.

Over the course of the pilot, the consistency and accuracy of the tool, in relation to classification ratings, improved. However, the consumer advice generated by the tool continues to have some challenges. The Board will continue to influence ongoing improvement in this area, as decisions of the Netflix tool are taken, for the purposes of the Classification Act (section 22CF), to be decisions of the Board. This means that all other publishers of the media – those wishing to sell, offer for sale, let on hire, exhibit, display, distribute and/or demonstrate Netflix content in Australia – are required to use the consumer advice in the format generated by the Netflix tool.

One of the challenges with the consumer advice is the ongoing technical issues experienced by Netflix that have precluded it from stripping its consumer advice of multiple modifiers. For example, the film, Orange is the New Black Season 5 has the following unpunctuated consumer advice: Strong Themes Strong Nudity Strong Violence Strong Sexual References Strong Sexual Violence Strong Coarse Language Strong Sex Scenes. This creates difficulty for local distributors when attempting to fit the consumer advice into the marking box on a DVD/Blu-ray sleeve.

Another of the challenges early in the pilot with tool-generated consumer advice was the long and convoluted construction of some of them. For example, the film, Mummy, I’m a Zombie is classified PG with consumer advice of: Mild Supernatural Themes Mild Animated Violence Mild Themes Some scenes may scare very young children Predatory Animal Behavior [sic] Mild Violence Mild Threat Mild Fantasy Violence Mild Fantasy Themes Mild Horror Themes. The Board will continue to monitor improvements in this area during 2018–19.

It is a condition of the approval instrument to pilot the Netflix tool, that the tool produces classifications and consumer advice that are “broadly consistent” with Australian community standards and classification decisions of the Board. Another of the key performance measures is that the tool must not produce a classification and consumer advice for a film already classified by the Board. While the number has reduced, they still occur. Therefore, over the coming year, the Board will continue to work with the Branch and Netflix to redress these decisions.

Publications

The transformative impact of the internet has coincided with a marked reduction in the number of commercial applications for hard-copy printed publications containing detailed descriptions and depictions of actual and simulated sexual activity, and realistic depictions of nudity containing genital detail and emphasis. In response to this contracting market, the Board increased the operational duration of serial classifications for eight Category 1 – Restricted publications from 12 months to 24 months. This increase has contributed to the decline in the number of single issue publications submitted for classification during the year.

Computer games

It is not uncommon for the Board to notice different episodes in a game franchise receiving different classifications, because of restrictions posed by the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2012 (the Games Guidelines), and/or different levels of impact of classifiable material and/or interactivity. For example, the three-part episodic game franchise The Council received an R 18+ classification for sexual activity related to incentives and rewards for part 1; an MA 15+ classification for strong themes and violence for part 2; and this year, part 3, received an M classification for themes and violence.

Context is key to making reasoned decisions, and the stipulations in the Games Guidelines currently prevent the Board from considering the context in which the role of incentives and rewards related to drug use, nudity and sexual activity are presented in a game. None of these three classifiable elements, when linked to incentives or rewards, are permitted in the G to MA 15+ classification categories, and drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted at R 18+. Computer games that exceed the R 18+ classification will be Refused Classification.

In a decision that attracted high media coverage, the Board classified the computer game We Happy Few as Refused Classification (RC), owing to the game’s drug use mechanism of making game progression less difficult, which thereby constituted an incentive or reward for drug use. ‘Incentives’ or ‘rewards’ may include, but are not limited to: the awarding of additional points; achievement unlocks; new skills or increases in attributes such as strength; making tasks easier to accomplish; accumulating rare forms of game equipment; and plot animations and pictures as rewards following an event/action.

As noted in the media release that accompanied the Board’s decision, the Board formed the opinion (at the time of classification) that if the Games Guidelines did not contain the restriction in its current form pertaining to drug use related to incentives and rewards, then We Happy Few would have received an MA 15+ classification.

The Board is supportive of a review of the Games Guidelines so that the Board may more accurately inform the Australian public about the impact level of classifiable elements within computer games. Additionally, the Board looks forward to receiving research from the Branch about the Australian community’s awareness of, and concerns regarding the growing use of ‘loot boxes’ and other microtransactions in computer games.

Visitors, events and meetings

October/November 2017: Delegation from Korean Media Ratings Board.

February 2018: Mr David Austin, Chief Executive and Mr Murray Perkins, Head of DEA (Digital Economy Act), British Board of Film Classification.

July 2017: Margaret Anderson – the launch of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) (with Bond University) Digital Australia 2018 report – the seventh study in a series of national research in Australia and New Zealand, which extends the knowledge of computer games and the people who play them.

October 2017: Alison Bickerstaff – the Australian International Movie Convention.

November 2017: Board members who voluntarily participated in a research project for a PhD student at the University of Sydney.

February 2018: Margaret Anderson and Alison Bickerstaff – Media Classification Systems in Conversation: A Symposium, which addressed the question, by whom or at what age should a cultural form or object be consumed?

Media releases

During the year, I issued eight media releases on topics as diverse as labiaplasty, the films Tom of Finland and Show Dogs, and the computer games, Super Mario Odyssey and We Happy Few. The most unusual topic addressed was my response to an article published on www.news.com.au on 28 February 2018, alleging that the Board had banned the reporting of a terrorist threat by an Australian newspaper.

Link to all media releases: www.classification.gov.au/Public/Resources/Pages/media-releases.aspx

Classification reform

The Board has been informed by the Branch that classification reform is being considered and the Board looks forward to continuing to participate in this process, as new classification models, structures and training are proposed, tested and implemented.

During the year, I worked intensively with the Branch in the development of the online training module for film classification. It has now been tested by a broad group of film industry representatives, Board members and relevant Branch staff. The module has been received positively and I will now work with the Branch to address the constructive feedback. I thank those on the Board, the Branch and industry who have engaged in the testing of the training module. The Board views the development of robust and comprehensive online training modules as a necessity in the digital age, as these are a more flexible delivery method.

The major principles as set out in the Code that have informed media classification in Australia – such as adults being free to make their own informed media choices and children being protected from material that may harm or disturb them – continue to be relevant and important, and have not been expunged by the current rapid pace of technological change and a convergent media environment. While the latter presents major new challenges, there continues to be a community expectation that entertainment media content will be accompanied by classification information based on decisions that reflect generally accepted contemporary community standards and allow consumers to make informed choices.

For some years, the Board has been tracking a trend, particularly in theatrical release films, of an increasing level of pervasive dark themes, or a sense of peril, threat and menace in films which would attract a teenage demographic. The kinds of films include the recently released Mowgli, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Maleficent. The impact test for the classifiable element of themes has exceeded mild for the PG category and has resulted in these films being classified M (moderate impact level). There has been a trend also to a greater level of violence, particularly action violence, which exceeds what can be accommodated at PG and has caused the following kinds of films to be classified M: Jurassic World; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Solo: A Star Wars Story; The Maze Runner; and Thor Ragnarok. At the time of classification, the Board has been aware that while these films have exceeded what can be accommodated in the PG classification level, they have not necessarily warranted a mature perspective, as required at the M classification category. The Board is of the opinion that these films are broadly representative of an increasing volume of films which could more appropriately be rated at a classification level in between PG and M, if such existed, at “PG-13” for example, as is utilised currently in some other western classification regimes.

During the reporting year, the work of the Board has been complemented by the use of the SIMO (single input multiple output) classification tool for mobile and online games operated through the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), which has enabled the classification of hundreds of thousands of games that otherwise would not have been classified.

To build on the successful operation of the IARC SIMO tool, the Board sees an opportunity and supports the concept of the development of a robust SIMO tool for most film classification. In this regard, the Board is aware of the international tool, You Rate It, which was specifically designed to rate user-generated internet content (it was not designed and is inadequate to rate professionally produced films). Like IARC, You Rate It, importantly delivers bespoke decisions for each of the participating countries, demonstrating that it may be possible to build a robust SIMO classification tool for film content. It is the retention of a country’s standards and cultural mores and the generation of country-specific and appropriate classification decisions which is of the utmost importance (even western countries have widely differing cultural identities and attitudes and tolerances to portrayals of, and interactivity with, violence, sex, drug use and coarse language). Where there are opportunities for Australia to participate in the development of a SIMO classification tool for other media formats, particularly films, irrespective of the delivery platform, then the Board would encourage timely exploration and evaluation of such.

Photo of Classification Board members Ms Ellenor Nixon, Ms Margaret Anderson, Ms Alison Bickerstaff, Mr Ron Delezio, Mr Jarrah Rushton and Mr Thomas Mann  

The Classification Board

Back: Left to right – Ms Ellenor Nixon,
Ms Margaret Anderson (Director),
Ms Alison Bickerstaff (acting Deputy Director).

Front: Left to right – Mr Ron Delezio,
Mr Jarrah Rushton, Mr Thomas Mann.

Votes of thanks and acknowledgements

The Board wishes to express its sincere appreciation of the support and professionalism of Mr Tony Frazer, who resigned after in excess of 20 years of service, 13 years of which were spent as a highly competent and reliable staff assessor of films to the Board.

The Board also wishes to thank Ms Leanne Wilson-O’Connor, temporary Board member, who has now completed the maximum seven year term, for her dedication and reliable service to the Board.

During the year, I sought the assistance of the following film distributors in making their theatrical release films available for screening and discussion at Board Professional Development days: 20th Century Fox Film Distribution for Red Sparrow; Paramount Pictures Australia for Mother!; and Roadshow Films for Breath. The Board also utilised on an occasion a cinema at Palace Central. I am most appreciative of the generosity and helpfulness of these distributors and exhibitors and I thank them and their staff.

The Board appreciates the support it receives from both the Branch and other units and individuals within the Department of Communications and the Arts to facilitate the efficient discharge of its statutory functions.

I am particularly grateful to Ms Alison Bickerstaff who performed the duties of the Deputy Director of the Board throughout the reporting year (except during periods of leave). For the majority of the reporting period, the position of Deputy Director remained vacant, but Ms Bickerstaff performed the duties of this role (despite not being remunerated); she was appointed to act in the position from 1 June 2018. I appreciate her skill, time, effort and dedication.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the Board’s members – both permanent and temporary – for their support, diligence, commitment and good humour, during this past year.

Margaret Anderson
Director
Classification Board

Classification Board profiles

Current Board members

Photo of Margaret Anderson 

Margaret Anderson

Director
APPOINTED 12 June 2018
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES 24 July 2020

Acting Director
APPOINTED 1 July 2017

Deputy Director
APPOINTED 25 July 2013
REAPPOINTED 25 July 2016

Ms Margaret Anderson, 52, was appointed Director of the Classification Board in June 2018. Prior to this, she was the Acting Director of the Classification Board for a year and the Deputy Director for four years.

Before her appointment to the Board, Ms Anderson completed an engagement in the Northern Territory working with Indigenous people, government agencies and non-government organisations to enhance services and personal development opportunities for disenfranchised youth and adult prisoners.

From 1995 to 2011, Ms Anderson held several positions with the NSW Department of Corrective Services including Director, Corporate Legislation and Parliamentary Support, as well as Executive Officer and Registrar of the Serious Offenders’ Review Council. As Director, she led the development and implementation of numerous legislative reforms and as the Executive Officer and Registrar, she oversaw the case management plans of the state’s most serious adult criminals.

Ms Anderson has held various positions with the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, the Cabinet Office and the NSW Legislature. Ms Anderson is also a member of the Executive Board of the Prisoners’ Aid Association of NSW — a community organisation which offers support to prisoners and their families during and after imprisonment.

Ms Anderson has degrees in Arts and Law and holds a number of graduate certificates and diplomas in legal and management studies.

Photo of Alison Bickerstaff 

Alison Bickerstaff

Acting Deputy Director
APPOINTED 8 June 2018
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES 20 August 2019

Board member
APPOINTED 21 August 2014

Ms Alison Bickerstaff, 38, was a small business owner prior to her appointment to the Classification Board in 2014, operating several busy hairdressing salons.

Ms Bickerstaff is a hairstylist by trade, and has experience as both an employee and proprietor.

Ms Bickerstaff has a young family and has been involved in her local community through her children’s school and sporting commitments. She has managed her son’s junior rugby league team and has been a member of the team’s committee. She is also involved in a local group that gathers regularly to help control the spread of noxious weeds and bush and creek re-generation in her local area.

Ms Bickerstaff is passionate about the environment and wildlife conservation. Her interests include sustainable living, rugby league, horse riding, gardening, film and the arts, and spending time with her family. She enjoys listening to a variety of music genres and is also involved in her local community’s social media site, which covers issues such as neighbourhood watch, hazard/weather watch, cultural issues, and boosting community morale.

Photo of Ron Delezio 

Ron Delezio

Board member
APPOINTED 21 August 2014
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES 20 August 2018

Mr Ron Delezio, 65, previously self-employed, has worked as a public speaker, was the founder of the charity, Day of Difference Foundation, and was the regional chair for the charity Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) from 2015 to 2016. Prior to this, Mr Delezio worked in the manufacturing industry for a number of years both as an employee and as a proprietor of a small business providing capital equipment and service to the plastics industry in Australia and New Zealand.

The Day of Difference Foundation delivers funding to children’s hospitals for medical equipment, research and training, and therapists to children’s hospitals all over Australia and New Zealand. The foundation now works with the University of Sydney conducting crucial research into improving the way hospitals work with families. Mr Delezio was awarded the 2006 Australian Father of the Year and New South Wales Citizen of the Year. He is also a Swans AFL team Ambassador, World Youth Day Ambassador and Australia Day Ambassador.

Photo of Jarrah Rushton 

Jarrah Rushton

Board member
APPOINTED 21 August 2014
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES 20 August 2020

Mr Jarrah Rushton, 42, holds a Bachelor of Psychology and relocated from Western Australia to take up his position with the Board.

Mr Rushton has been involved in skateboarding for over 27 years as a participant, and as a volunteer for state and then federal skate associations for almost 20 years. He has concurrently worked in the skate industry, first in retail, then as a coach, as well as an event organiser and portfolio manager at a youth facility, co-founding a skate brand and managing various aspects of a wholesale and representative agency business.

Mr Rushton’s other interests include music, art, computer games, snowboarding, reading and supporting the Fremantle Dockers AFL team.

Photo of Thomas Mann 

Thomas Mann

Board member
APPOINTED 1 June 2016
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES 31 May 2019

Mr Thomas Mann, 36, is a teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English Literature, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Editing and Communications. Mr Mann relocated from Footscray, Victoria, to take up his position with the Board.

Mr Mann has a background in editing for a variety of business media, and was an editor for an online music website prior to his appointment. Through his work and personal interests, Mr Mann had an extensive involvement with the online community.

Mr Mann’s local community involvement included support to the migrant community in Footscray as a volunteer English tutor and work with Melbourne’s student community as a volunteer with the youth focussed radio station SYN FM. Mr Mann has three children.

Photo of Ellenor Nixon 

Ellenor Nixon

Board member
APPOINTED 1 June 2016
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES 31 May 2019

Ms Ellenor Nixon, 27, holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science and relocated from Merriwa, NSW, to take up her position with the Board.

Prior to her appointment, Ms Nixon was the assistant manager on her family’s mixed farming property. She has been actively involved in the community through her work with the local rural fire brigade, landcare events, agricultural shows and charities as well as competing in local sporting competitions. Ms Nixon is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture.

Temporary Board members

Under the Classification Act, the Minister has authorised the Director to appoint a person to be a temporary member of the Classification Board. A register of people suitable for temporary appointments is maintained and drawn on from time to time to provide short-term assistance in handling the workload of the Classification Board. Terms of appointment may be as short as one day and may extend to three months.

Photo of Emma Ashton 

Emma Ashton

Ms Emma Ashton is a 48-year-old mother of two young children who currently lives in Sydney. She grew up in the country and studied nursing at university. After working as a nurse, both in Australia and overseas, she started working in politics and later in policy in the public service.

Ms Ashton is involved in her local community through her children’s school and childcare centre, as well as being involved in other community groups. She is also involved in online communities and is in continual contact with a variety of people discussing a wide range of issues from all over Australia.

Ms Ashton worked 16 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Jenny Burke 

Jenny Burke

Ms Jenny Burke, 36, resides in the inner western suburbs of Sydney, and has a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Organisational Behaviour.

She works as a freelance market research contractor, and has worked as a research consultant for numerous social research firms and the Australia Council for the Arts. Ms Burke is a mother to two young boys and is actively involved in the local community. She particularly enjoys volunteering in a leadership role at a local playgroup.

Ms Burke worked 10 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Andrew Humphreys 

Andrew Humphreys

Mr Andrew Humphreys is 48 and lives in Sydney with his family. He is a writer and novelist with a background in publishing, having written for, edited and published a range of consumer magazines.

Mr Humphreys has degrees in Arts and Law and has also taught undergraduate and postgraduate media courses.

Mr Humphreys worked 120 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Jenny Fowler 

Jenny Fowler

Ms Jenny Fowler, 53, resides in the southern suburbs of Sydney. She has a Bachelor of Education, Primary.

Ms Fowler currently works as a Youth Justice Conference Convenor, and has also worked as a primary school teacher and as an “extra” in film and television. Ms Fowler has a 23-year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter. She has maintained a high level of community involvement through her children’s school and sport and in her local surf lifesaving club. Her other interests include travel, sport and keeping fit.

Ms Fowler worked 61 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Felix Hubble 

Felix Hubble

Mr Felix Hubble is 26 years old and lives in the inner west of Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Film Studies) (Digital Cultures) (Hons). Mr Hubble currently works as head projectionist at an independent cinema and has previously worked for an online film journal as a sub-editor and writer.

Mr Hubble worked 47 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Wayne Garrett 

Wayne Garrett

Dr Wayne Garrett, 64, holds a BSc (Hons) and a PhD in Radiation Chemistry. He was a principal research scientist at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), was Head of the Nuclear Branch representing the interests of both ANSTO and the Australian Government as Counsellor (Nuclear) based at the Australian High Commission in London and was Australia’s representative on the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency steering committee in Paris. He was also involved in international programs with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy to secure radioactive material from illicit uses, as well as to transfer peaceful uses of nuclear technology to developing countries in South East Asia.

Dr Garrett lives with his wife and daughter in Sydney, but grew up in Queensland. He has also lived and worked in Sweden, Japan and the United Kingdom as well as Paris and a variety of South East Asian countries and has wide experience with people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.

Dr Garrett worked 91 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Greg Randall 

Greg Randall

Mr Greg Randall, 57, has 35 years’ experience in policing and criminal investigation within the NSW Police Force and other law enforcement agencies. He gained expertise in targeting, leading and commanding covert, complex and sensitive investigations into organised crime, as well as corruption in state, national and international jurisdictions. He attained the commissioned rank of detective inspector and received numerous awards and commendations, including being selected to participate in an international exchange program with the London Metropolitan Police.

Mr Randall is married with two teenage children. His interests include overseas travel, water and snow sports, politics and world affairs.

Mr Randall worked 27 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Damien Carr 

Damien Carr

Mr Damien Carr, 30, resides in the inner western suburbs of Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Arts, and also holds a Diploma of Screen and Media. He is continuing his studies towards an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Acting) at Actors Centre Australia.

Mr Carr worked 35 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Michael Leske 

Michael Leske

Mr Michael Leske, 46, resides in northern Sydney. He has an Associate Diploma in Advertising and Graphic Design.

Mr Leske has worked in a variety of roles with media and entertainment related organisations including program classification, television design and production. Mr Leske is the parent of two infant children and has been involved in local community activities associated with their care. His interests include computer gaming, table tennis and bushwalking.

Mr Leske worked 1 day as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Adam Hennessy 

Adam Hennessy

Mr Adam Hennessy is 43 years old and lives in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Arts (History) and a Master of Policy and Applied Social Research. Mr Hennessy also holds an Advanced Diploma of Police Management and a Diploma of Policing from NSW Police where he served for 13 years.

He has had further community involvement through his roles as a child protection caseworker for NSW Family and Community Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice. He also undertook the production of a monthly publication of local issues, events and social topics of interest within his community in western Sydney. Mr Hennessy is a father of three children.

Mr Hennessy worked 27 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Matthew MacMaster 

Matt MacMaster

Mr Matt MacMaster is 37 years old and lives in the inner west of Sydney.

He has completed a short course of study in Screen Writing and Directing at NIDA, is a music critic/blogger and works for a multinational advertising agency in Ultimo.

Mr MacMaster worked 16 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Lora Pechovska 

Lora Pechovska

Ms Lora Pechovska is 30 years old and lives in the north-western suburbs of Sydney. She has a Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Humanities) (Hons), a Bachelor of Arts (English Hons) and a Diploma in Digital and Interactive Games (Art).

Her community involvement includes working in educational environments such as teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), tutoring refugees and teaching English overseas. She currently works as a private English tutor and a retail assistant for a fashion retailer.

Ms Pechovska worked 36 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Raphael Richards 

Raphael Richards

Raphael Richards, 42, resides in the inner eastern suburbs of Sydney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) and a Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary & Secondary). He has worked in the travel publishing industry and education sector for over a decade and has previously served as a board member for the Smartraveller program run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Raphael is actively involved in his child’s school community and sports programs.

Mr Richards worked 34 days as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Photo of Leanne Wilson-O'Connor 

Leanne Wilson-O’Connor

Ms Leanne Wilson-O’Connor, 44, works in the television industry, and has previously worked for over 11 years as an Aboriginal education officer at a charitable institution which provides respite care for children in need. Ms Wilson-O’Connor has travelled extensively around Australia and has spent time living and working in remote Aboriginal communities. She has been a member of both the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and her local Aboriginal Land Council.

Ms Wilson-O’Connor worked 1 day as a temporary Board member during 2017–18.

Statistics

Timeliness of decisions

There are statutory time limits for the making of classification decisions – 20 days for standard applications and five days for priority service applications. In 2017–18, all decisions on commercial and law enforcement classification applications were made within the statutory time limits.

The Classification Board made 3,156 classification decisions in 2017–18, including 3,102 commercial classification decisions and 54 classification decisions for enforcement agencies.

The Classification Board and the Director also make other decisions which are not classification decisions, including exemptions relating to the conditional cultural exemption rules, revocations of classification, and decisions to approve importation and exportation of prohibited items.

A breakdown of the Board’s workload appears in Table 1.

Table 01: Board workload

Classification Decisions

Decisions

Film (public exhibition (theatrical))

618

Film (sale/hire) – DVD/Blu-ray/VOD

1,325

Film (sale/hire) – ACA

180

Film (sale/hire) – ATSA

506

Computer games

442

Publications

22

Serial publication declarations

9

Internet content

0

Enforcement

54

Other decisions

Advertising assessment of likely classification – film

22

Advertising assessment of likely classification – computer games

0

Section 87 Certificates – Classification Act

54

Conditional cultural exemptions (section 6H – Classification Act)

10

Call ins

0

Revocation of classification

0

Decline to deal

3

Total

3,245

Comparison with last year’s workload

A comparison of the Board’s workload this year compared with 2016–17 is shown in Table 2.

Table 02: Board workload – comparison

Measure

2016–17

2017–18

Percentage change

Total classification decisions

3,560

3,156

11 percent decrease

Public exhibition (theatrical) films

551

618

12 percent increase

Computer games

498

442

11 percent decrease

Film – (sale/hire) DVD/Blu-ray/VOD

1,614

1,325

18 percent decrease

Film – (sale/hire) ACA scheme

231

180

22 percent decrease

Film – (sale/hire) ATSA scheme

600

506

16 percent decrease

Publications/serial publication declarations combined

42

31

26 percent decrease

Board audits of Serial declarations

0*

3

100 percent increase

* Two audits were attempted during the 2016–17 reporting period, however, the audits could not be undertaken as the publications were not available for purchase.

Pursuant to section 22CF, decisions made by an approved classification tool are taken, for the purposes of the Classification Act, to be decisions of the Board.

Table 03: Tool decisions taken to be decisions of the Board – comparison

Measure

2016–17

2017–18

Percentage change

IARC tool

337,555

368,462

9 percent increase

Netflix tool

1,014

1,776

75 percent increase

Quality decision making

The Classification Board employs a number of practices and procedures to ensure quality of decision making:

  • regular internal meetings are held to ensure issues on current standards are communicated and a forum is provided to debate and discuss classification standards and maintain a consistent approach to decision making
  • interaction between the Classification Board and the Classification Branch ensures the Classification Board’s standards are reflected in training programs provided by the Classification Branch for industry assessors
  • standardised internal procedures for managing applications.

Publications

The Classification Board made 31 decisions on commercial applications for classification of publications. This included 22 single issue publication classifications and nine serial declarations.

Table 04: Commercial (single issue) publications decisions by classification

Classification

Classification decisions

Unrestricted

10

Category 1 restricted

12

Category 2 restricted

0

RC

0

Total

22

As indicated in Figure 1, 55 percent of single issue publications classified were Category 1 – restricted and 45 percent were Unrestricted. No publications were Refused Classification (RC).

Figure 01: Publication classification decisions

Publication classification decisions - Unrestricted 45%, Category 1 restricted 55% 

Serial classification declarations for publications

The Classification Act provides that the Classification Board may declare that the classification granted for an original issue applies to future issues of a publication for a specified period or number of issues. The Classification Board must have regard to the Classification (Serial Publications) Principles 2005 in deciding whether to grant a serial classification declaration.

Table 05: Serial classification declarations granted by classification

Classification

Declarations granted

Unrestricted

2

Category 1 restricted

7

Category 2 restricted

0

RC

0

Total

9

The Classification Board did not refuse any serial classification declarations in 2017–18.

Pursuant to section 13(5) of the Classification Act, the Board must revoke a serial classification declaration so far as it affects that issue and any future issues, if it is of the opinion that an issue of the publication covered by the declaration either: contains material that, if the issue were being classified separately, would cause it to be classified with a higher classification than the original issue; or contains an advertisement that has been refused approval.

In 2017–18, the Board checked the content of three publications where a declaration had been made for a serial classification: two passed and one failed. There was no consequential action taken during the reporting period.

As indicated in Figure 2, 78 percent of all serial classification applications for declarations resulted in Category 1 restricted publications, and 22 percent were Unrestricted publications. There were no applications that were RC.

Figure 02: Serial publication classification declarations

Serial publication classification declarations - Unrestricted 22%, Category 1 restricted 78% 

Films classified for public exhibition

The Classification Board made 618 decisions on applications for the classification of commercial films for public exhibition.

Table 06: Decisions on commercial films classified for public exhibition

Classification

Classification decisions

G

30

PG

119

M

310

MA 15+

154

R 18+

5

X 18+

0

RC

0

Total

618

As indicated in Figure 3, 74 percent of public exhibition film classifications during the year were in the advisory categories of G, PG and M, with the highest number of decisions in the M category.

Figure 03: Decisions on films classified for public exhibition

Decisions on films classified for public exhibition - M 50%, MA15+ 25%, PG 19%, G 5%, R18+ 1% 

Films classified for sale/hire

The Classification Board made 2,011 decisions on applications for classification of commercial films for sale/hire. These figures include applications made under the ACA and ATSA schemes.

Table 07: Decisions on commercial films classified for sale/hire

Classification

Classification decisions

G

265

PG

507

M

786

MA 15+

423

R 18+

30

X 18+

0

RC

0

Total

2,011

As indicated in Figure 4, approximately 77 percent of classifications of films for sale/hire during the year were in the advisory categories of G, PG and M, with the highest number of decisions in the M category.

No films for commercial sale/hire in the reporting period were RC.

Figure 04: Decisions on commercial films classified for sale/hire (including ACA and ATSA)

Decisions on commercial films classified for sale/hire (including ACA and ATSA) - M 39%, PG 25%, MA15+ 21%, G 13%, R18+ 2% 

Film – sale/hire includes DVD, Blu-ray and online content submitted directly to the Board for classification, as well as films submitted as part of the Authorised Assessor schemes (ACA and ATSA), where the Board is still responsible for the classification of the film, but its decision may be informed by the assessor’s report and classification and consumer advice recommendation.

Computer games

The Classification Board made 442 decisions on applications for computer games. The figures include applications made under the Authorised Assessor for Computer Games Scheme (AACG). Under this scheme, authorised assessors can make a recommendation about classification and consumer advice. The Classification Board is still responsible for the classification of the game, but its decision may be informed by the assessor’s report and classification and consumer advice recommendation.

Table 08: Commercial computer games decisions by classification

Classification

Classification decisions

G

113

PG

130

M

113

MA 15+

64

R 18+

20

RC

2

Total

442

81 percent of computer game classifications during the year were in the advisory categories of G, PG and M, with the highest number of decisions in the PG category.

The Classification Board classified two computer games RC during the reporting period.

Figure 05: Computer game classification decisions (including AACG)

Computer game classification decisions (including AACG) - PG 29%, M 26%, G 26%, MA15+ 14%, R18+ 4.5%, RC 0.5% 

Table 09: Commercial computer game applications Refused Classification (RC) by reason1

Reason1

Number

Games RC 1(a)

1

Games RC 1(b)

0

Games RC 1(c)

0

Games RC 1(a) & 1 (b)

1

Total

2

Advertising approvals

The Classification Board did not receive any applications for approval of advertisements under section 29 of the Classification Act.

Advertising assessments

The scheme for advertising of unclassified films and computer games allows advertising subject to conditions set out in the Classification (Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme) Determination 2009 (the 2009 Determination).

During the reporting period, the Board made 22 assessments of the likely classification of films. No assessments were made of the likely classification of a computer game.

Table 10: Advertising assessments for films

Likely Classification

Decisions

G

1

PG

2

M

13

MA 15+

6

R 18+

0

Total

22

Revocations

No decisions were made to revoke the classifications of films, computer games, publications or serial declarations under sections 21A, 21AA, 21AB or subsection 13(5) of the Classification Act during this reporting period. Revocations under approved classification tools are discussed below.

Call ins

Under the Classification Act, the Director may call in, that is, issue a notice to the publisher to submit an unclassified film, computer game, or a submittable publication for classification. Similar call in provisions apply in relation to certain advertisements.

No call in notices were issued during this reporting period.

Approved classification tools

The Classification Act provides for classification tools to be approved by the Minister to make classification decisions.

Decisions made by classification tools are taken, pursuant to section 22CF of the Classification Act, to be decisions of the Board. Section 22CH of the Classification Act provides for the Board to revoke a classification decision produced by an approved classification tool if the Board is of the opinion that it would have given the material a different classification, or assigned different consumer advice. The Board may revoke a classification decision on its own initiative or on application.

During the reporting period, two approved classification tools were used to generate classification decisions pursuant to subsection 22CA(1) of the Classification Act:

  • the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) classification tool (the IARC tool) which produces classifications for digitally delivered games for Australia; and
  • the Netflix classification tool (the Netflix tool) which produces classifications for content delivered in Australia by the streaming service.

The IARC tool

During the reporting period, the IARC tool made 368,445 decisions which were published on the National Classification Database. To ensure that the IARC tool makes decisions which align with decisions of the Board and Australian community standards, decisions of the IARC tool are monitored by way of the international program of participating IARC members, called Global Overrides. Australia participates in this program, which reviews games titles which might be high profile or which might be the subject of a complaint. During the reporting period, 1,541 IARC classifications were reviewed under the program and were changed. Most of these reviews caused the computer game to be given a higher classification.

There are no full-time equivalent Classification Branch staff employed solely to undertake the Global Overrides program.

The Netflix tool

In December 2016, the Minister announced a pilot of the Netflix tool. Between December 2016 and May 2018, the pilot was conducted to test the ability of the tool to generate classification decisions that are “broadly consistent” with decisions of the Board and Australian community standards. During the pilot, a selection of random and targeted classification decisions of the Netflix tool were assessed against agreed performance indicators. An evaluation of the Netflix tool was completed during the reporting period, and a report is being prepared currently for the Federal Government.

From 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, the Netflix tool produced 1,776 decisions which are recorded in the NCD.

Other functions

Exemptions to exhibit unclassified content

The Conditional Cultural Exemption Rules are described above on page 5.

During 2017–18, 459 events were registered.

During the reporting period, the Director received 10 applications for a waiver or variation to the exemption rules. Of these, the Director approved nine applications and declined one.

Enforcement agencies

The Classification Board classifies films, publications and computer games submitted by law enforcement agencies. These classification decisions are often used in enforcement proceedings undertaken by the agency involved.

There were 54 classification decisions for enforcement applications made in the reporting period – 17 for publications and 37 for films, all of which required a certificate to be issued pursuant to section 87 of the Classification Act. Hence, the total number of documents issued was 108.

There were no enforcement applications for computer games in 2017–18.

Table 11: Enforcement application decisions by agency 2

Enforcement agency

Publications

Films

Section 87 certificates2

Total documents issued

Australian Federal Police

17

12

29

58

ACT Office of Fair Trading

0

0

0

0

NSW Police

0

25

25

50

NT Police

0

0

0

0

Qld Police & Qld Office of
Fair Trading

0

0

0

0

Victorian Police

0

0

0

0

SA Police

0

0

0

0

Tasmanian Police

0

0

0

0

WA Police

0

0

0

0

Department of Home Affairs (Australian Border Force)

0

0

0

0

Total

17

37

54

108

Internet content

Under Schedule 7 of the BSA, the Classification Board classifies internet content on application from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. During the reporting period, there were no applications.


1 The reason for refusing a computer game classification refers to the relevant item of the Code (see Appendix).

2 A section 87 certificate is an evidentiary certificate that describes the action taken, or not taken, by the Classification Board in relation to a publication, film or computer game.

Decisions

Films

Decisions for films were made using the Guidelines for the Classification of Films 2012 (the Film Guidelines).

The Film Guidelines explain the different classification categories and the scope and limits of material suitable for each category. Several principles underlie the use of the Film Guidelines, including the importance of context and assessing the impact of the six classifiable elements (themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity).

The Board’s general practice when providing consumer advice is to indicate the strongest classifiable element or elements contained in the film which caused it to receive the designated classification level. The consumer advice is usually preceded by a descriptor to indicate impact or intensity, with this descriptor generally corresponding with the hierarchy of impact stated in the Film Guidelines.

G General Classification 

Out of the total of 2,629 commercial films classified in 2017–18, 295 films were classified G.

The G classification is for a general audience. While many films at the G classification are targeted towards children, it does not necessarily mean that a child will enjoy all films classified G. Some material that is classified G may be of no interest to a child such as some documentaries or particular music DVDs. Films classified G in the reporting period include: A Mermaid’s Tale; Barbie Dolphin Magic; Beat Bugs: Come Together; My Little Pony Friendship is Magic; Octonauts: Octo-Glow Adventures; Sesame Street: Sing it, Elmo!; Vitamania: The Sense and Nonsense of Vitamins; Wish For Christmas.

The Board’s indicative position for consumer advice for G-classified films is “General”.

Delta Goodrem: Wings of the Wild is a recording of the Australian singer’s concert tour, mainly from shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It also features behind the scenes footage and interviews with fans. In the opinion of the Board, consumer advice of “General” was the most appropriate for this film.

Similarly, the British documentary David Attenborough’s Tasmania, which explores the unique flora and fauna of Tasmania, received consumer advice of “General” despite containing thematic content, including animal behaviour and disease. For example, while two Tasmanian Devils scrap and scream over a carcass, David Attenborough says, “The adult Devil could kill [the juvenile] with one bite.” In another scene, a Tasmanian Devil is viewed inside a trap with swollen cheeks, infected by a disease. The Board was of the opinion that the thematic material in this film could be accommodated in consumer advice of “General”.

Ferdinand is an animated film about a giant bull who is taken from his home after being mistaken as aggressive. Ferdinand embarks on an adventure to get home, accompanied by a misfit team of farm animals. The thematic material in the film is inextricably linked with violence within the narrative, which deals with the sport of bullfighting. For instance, as the film moves to its climax, Ferdinand faces off with a bull-fighter, Primero, who orders several matadors and picadors to goad Ferdinand into charging. Ferdinand is goaded, roars and charges forward as Primero steps out of the way. Primero’s cape becomes entangled in Ferdinand’s horns, causing him to buck and shake his head as Primero attempts to retrieve it. An impact sound is heard, implicitly Ferdinand being stabbed with a banderilla, and Ferdinand roars. The scene continues as Primero levels a sword at Ferdinand’s head and appears to prepare to lunge, before Ferdinand sits on his hindquarters. Primero is taken aback and hesitates, before preparing again. The crowd waves white fabric and yells, “Let him live!” Primero looks around before nodding at Ferdinand and walking away. In the Board’s opinion, the thematic content and threats of violence, mitigated by the complete lack of injury or blood detail, the unrealistic animation and the cheerful tone and colour palette of the film mitigated the impact of such scenes to the extent that they did not exceed very mild. The film’s most impactful content was best described with consumer advice of “Very mild themes and coarse language”.

Paddington 2 is a comedy/adventure film in which Paddington Bear and the family he lives with, the Browns, attempt to unmask a book thief after Paddington is blamed for the crime. The film contains scenes which create a very mild sense of peril, as well as scenes featuring violence that is brief and involve weapons including prop swords and a toy gun. Towards the end of the film, in an extended chase sequence, the speeding train carriage Paddington is travelling in derails off a bridge and plunges into the water below. Water fills the carriage as it begins to sink. Mary Brown dives off the bridge and swims down towards Paddington, but the carriage door is chained shut and he is trapped inside. Mary can’t break the chain and she and Paddington look at each other forlornly through the gap in the door. Knuckles and two other escaped prisoners then arrive, land their seaplane on the water and swim down to help. They are quickly able to break the chain and free Paddington. The camera cuts to the top of the water as they all surface, gasping for air. Impact is mitigated by the brevity of the scenes and the film’s light-hearted, comedic tone, with violence generally played as slapstick and the sense of threat quickly and reassuringly resolved. The film’s consumer advice was “Very mild themes and violence”.

Bailaras is an Indian Punjabi-language film, with English subtitles, which follows Jagga, a young farmer with a powerful tractor, who must contend with a jealous rival, who covets his tractor. Impactful thematic content in the film includes Meenu calling Jagga and impersonating Sonali, telling him that her father has had a heart attack and she needs money urgently to pay for his medical treatment. Violence in the film includes Sonali’s father yelling at Jagga and his brother while following them across the lawn, shoving them away. The film uses very mild coarse language in the form of the words “damn” and derivatives. The film’s consumer advice was “Very mild themes, violence and coarse language”.

PG Parental Guidance Recommended Classification 

Out of the total of 2,629 commercial films classified in 2017–18, 626 films were classified PG (Parental Guidance).

Films in this classification contain content that a child may find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of a parent or guardian. Films classified PG in the reporting period include: An American in Paris the Musical; Border Politics; Chasing Comets; Coco; Defiant Lives; Early Man; Flip Flappers Complete Series; From the Ashes; Joanna Lumley’s Japan; Last of the Elephant Men; Monster Family; Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran; Pitching Love and Catching Faith; Show Dogs; The Music of Silence; The Von Trapp Family – A Life of Music; Victoria & Abdul; Woody Woodpecker.

The most common consumer advice for films in the PG classification is “mild themes”, either on its own or paired with “coarse language” and/or “violence”. For example, Pad Man is a Hindi-language (subtitled in English) biographical drama in which a man, Lakshmi, jeopardises his marriage in pursuit of his goal to provide low-cost sanitary napkins to women in rural India. In one scene, Lakshmi discusses menstrual hygiene with the doctor, who tells him that many poor rural women use “dirty rags, leaves and even ash” during their menstrual cycles, resulting in illness and sometimes death. The film also contains mild coarse language in the form of the word “shit”. The film’s consumer advice was “Mild themes and coarse language”.

Daddy’s Home Two is a comedic film in which two fathers – Dylan and Brad – have a joint family Christmas with their parents, wives and children. The film contains crude humour and mild sexual references that are justified by context and which at times, are inextricably linked. The film also contains mild coarse language including, “bastards”, “bitches”, “butt-crack”, “butthole”, “crap”, “dickhead” and “shit”. The film’s consumer advice was “Mild crude humour, sexual references and coarse language”.

Isle of Dogs is a stop-motion animated film in which a boy, Atari, flies to a vast garbage-dump, Trash Island, in search of his dog, Spot, who has been exiled with Megasaki’s dog population by the corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. The film contains themes, including wound detail, that have a low sense of threat and menace, and infrequent, mild animated violence that is justified by context and inextricably linked by the film’s narrative, in which Atari and his posse of dogs battle the Mayor and his minions as they fight to reveal a massive conspiracy. For example, in one scene, two groups of dogs fight over a bag of garbage. The fight is primarily represented as a dust-cloud with limbs occasionally emerging as the dogs continue to scrap. A close-up briefly depicts one dog biting another’s ear, causing it to yelp in pain. The bitten dog has a small amount of blood on its fur where its ear has been bitten off. The ear is then viewed on the ground, before it is taken by a rat. In another scene, Kobayashi and Atari are depicted in a surgery as Kobayashi donates a kidney to the boy. In a mid-distance overhead shot, Kobayashi is cut open, a kidney removed, and then it is transferred to Akira, who lies in the adjacent bed. Although the surgical scene is explicitly depicted, it is brief in duration. In the Board’s opinion, the impact of the themes and violence in the film did not exceed mild as it was mitigated by the film’s stylised animation, the animal-nature of many of the main characters, the frequent use of humour to ease dramatic tension and the film’s happy ending. The film also contained mild coarse language. The film’s consumer advice was “Mild themes, animated violence and coarse language.”

The Heroin Diaries: 10 Years Later is a film made for DVD on the 10th Anniversary of the soundtrack of the same name by American rock band SIXX: A.M. The film includes a documentary looking back at the making of the soundtrack, interviews with band members and film clips of the band’s songs. In the Board’s opinion, the references to drug use and recovery from addiction in the film created an impact no higher than mild, owing to the positive tone and message imparted by the lyrics of the songs and the dialogue from the band members. There are no depictions of drugs, nor of drug use, in the film. The film also contains an instance of nudity in a film clip for a song, wherein a woman is showering – her breasts and buttocks are blurred out with no detail visible, and the depictions are brief. Accordingly, the film’s consumer advice was “Mild themes, drug references, coarse language and nudity.”

M Recommended for mature audiances classification 

The M classification is the largest classification category for films.

Out of the total of 2,629 commercial films classified in 2017–18, 1,096 films were classified M.

Films classified M are not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. Accordingly, they require a mature perspective. There are no legal restrictions on access and ultimately, it is the responsibility of a parent or guardian to make decisions about appropriate entertainment material for their child and to provide adequate supervision.

Films classified M in the reporting period include: A Taxi Driver; Anti Matter; Bad Genius; Batman and Harley Quinn; Black Panther; Breath; Chappaquiddick; Curvature; De Plus Belle; Downsizing; Jane the Virgin Season 4; JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald; Justice League; Straight on Till Morning; Strassman’s iTedE; The League of Gentlemen Anniversary Specials; The Mountain Between Us; The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth; The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman; Velaiilla Pattadhari 2; WWE: Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2017.

The highest number of theatrical release and home viewing films classified was in the M category. It is not uncommon for films in this classification category to have themes and violence both at a moderate impact level; for example, the British war drama, Journey’s End, a film adaptation of a famous play, made as part of the British commemoration of the First World War centenary. It follows a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer, Stanhope, as they await an anticipated German attack on their trench in the north of France. The film contains war themes that have a moderate sense of threat and menace and moderate violence that are inextricably linked and justified by context. For example, there is a scene where several British soldiers scream as they take cover from German bombs. A large explosion knocks Raleigh to the ground, where he lies facedown with a small amount of blood on the back of his torn jacket. Raleigh tells Stanhope, “There’s something pressing down on my legs.” Stanhope reassures him, “It’s just the shock.” As the sounds of explosions around the trench continue to be heard, Raleigh urges Stanhope to stay with him. Stanhope rises to fetch a blanket for Raleigh before returning to find him motionless, implicitly dead. Stanhope briefly sits on the bed as his eyes fill with tears before he is called on to return to the trench, where several soldiers are depicted slumped against the walls, also implicitly dead. The film’s consumer advice was “War themes, violence and coarse language”.

Where there is one use of coarse language at the film’s classification level and a few (generally five or fewer) instances of other coarse language at a lower classification level, the Board may decide to qualify the consumer advice for coarse language with the word “occasional”, such as in the film The Final Year, an American documentary, which is a unique insider’s account of President Obama’s foreign policy team during their last year in office. Over the duration of the film (90 minutes), there was a single use of strong coarse language (starting with the letter ‘f’), two uses of the word “damn”, a use of the word “arsehole” and the phrase “screwed up”. Accordingly, the film’s consumer advice was “Occasional coarse language”.

Consumer advice of “fantasy themes and violence” is not uncommon for certain types of action films. For example, Carlo J. Caparas’ Ang Panday is a Filipino fantasy-action film, in Tagalog with English subtitles, in which the descendent of a blacksmith, Flavio III, is tasked with finding a mythical sword and defeating the devilish Lizardo and his demonic minions. In one scene, Flavio II and Lizardo fight with swords in front of a church. Flavio II implicitly stabs Lizardo through the torso and his sword is briefly viewed protruding from Lizardo’s back. Lizardo then implicitly stabs Flavio II. Blood drips from Flavio II’s mouth as Lizardo tells him that he can never die, before both men turn to ash as Lizardo’s spirit, in the form of a black cloud, leaves his body. In the Board’s opinion, the impact of the violence and thematic content did not exceed moderate as it was mitigated by the film’s fantastic context, the stylised nature of the violence and a general lack of wound detail.

Kalakalappu 2 is an Indian comedy, in Tamil with English subtitles, in which Raghu befriends Seenu, a man who runs a hotel in a mansion that is rightfully Raghu’s ancestral inheritance. In search of quick money, the two men attempt to blackmail Dharmaraj, a former government minister, whose laptop has been stolen. Scenes and shots of violence include: a man punched in the mouth, causing a bloodied tooth to fly in slow-motion towards the camera; a thrown knife which ricochets off the side of a train and strikes a man in the shoulder; and an accidental stabbing of a fraudulent guru in the chest. In the Board’s opinion, the impact of the violence, although mitigated by the slapstick nature of its depiction and comedic intent of the film, exceeded mild. The film’s consumer advice was “Comedic violence”.

Normandie Nue (Normandy Nude) is a French comedy drama (in French and English with English subtitles) in which a French mayor struggles to convince his villagers to pose naked for a famous American photographer, as a means to bring national attention to the suffering of the farmers in the region. Thematic content in the film includes attempted suicide and verbal references to farmers who have “given up and killed themselves.” The film also contains nudity that is moderate in impact and justified by context, such as the scene where a male camper exits his tent which is pitched in a field, urinates, and then notices that there are naked men and women standing in the field, surrounding him. Full frontal nudity depicts female breasts and female and male genitals. The film’s consumer advice was “Mature themes, nudity and coarse language”.

The Changeover is a New Zealand supernatural thriller in which a 16-year-old girl, Laura, must become a witch in order to protect her younger brother, Jacko, who has been possessed by an ancient spirit. In one scene, a door opens and Braque, who has stamped Jacko’s hand as a way of taking possession of his body, is standing in their doorway, telling Jacko to invite him in. Laura places her hand over Jacko’s mouth to stop him from speaking. Braque lunges through the door then collapses on the floor. Dark liquid begins spilling from his eyes as Laura screams for her mother. Braque has vanished when Laura’s mother appears. Laura’s mother removes Laura’s hand from Jacko’s mouth; Laura’s palm is covered in dark liquid. The film’s consumer advice was “Supernatural themes”.

Kangaroo A Love-Hate Story is an Australian documentary which examines the complicated relationship that Australians have with kangaroos. The film contains themes associated with the culling of kangaroos and welfare concerns, food safety for human consumption, and the mechanisms used to calculate annual quotas. There are interviews with zoologists, ecologists, researchers, high-profile animal rights activists, government officials and public servants, as well as farmers and professional shooters. The film contains several depictions of the slaughter of kangaroos, the majority of which are of brief duration and contain grainy footage, which appears to have been filmed at night on mobile phones. In the opinion of the Board, the documentary context, the use of film techniques such as selective colour filters and the brevity of the majority of the depictions, despite their frequency, mitigated the impact of the thematic content so that it did not exceed moderate. The film’s consumer advice was “Mature themes and scenes of animal slaughter”.

Call Me by Your Name is a drama set in Northern Italy in the summer of 1983, in which seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with Oliver, his father’s research assistant. The film is predominantly in English with additional dialogue in French and Italian, which is subtitled in English. The film contains sexual activity that is discreetly implied and justified by context, such as in a darkly lit scene when Elio is depicted lying on top of Marzia, who moans as they implicitly have sex. In another scene, Elio is implicitly fellated by Oliver. In the Board’s opinion, the impact of these depictions was mitigated by their brevity, framing and dark lighting, and therefore could be accommodated within the upper limit of the M classification. The film’s consumer advice was “Sex scenes, nudity and coarse language”.

MA15+ Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian Classification 

Films classified MA 15+ are not suitable for persons under 15 years of age. It is a legally restricted category, which means that people under 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to attend the cinema to see these films, or buy or hire MA 15+ films. MA 15+ films contain themes, violence, sex, language, drug use or nudity that have a strong impact.

Out of the total of 2,629 commercial films classified in 2017–18, 577 films were classified MA 15+.

Films classified MA 15+ in the reporting period include: 5 Headed Shark Attack; Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield; Cocaine Godmother; Dance with Devils; Death Race: Beyond Anarchy; Detroit; Gunpowder; Ismael’s Ghosts; King of the Dancehall; Lie Love Intelligence Enmity; Professor Marston and the Wonder Women; Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay; The Hitman’s Bodyguard; The Pirates of Somalia; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Lipstick Under My Burkha is a Hindi-language film (with English subtitles) that follows four women who chafe under the conservative cultural values of Indian societies and rebel in their own ways. In a scene, Rahim sexually assaults Shirin as he tells her that he is angry that she has a job as a salesgirl. He also tells her that she embarrassed him by confronting his mistress at her home. He moves more vigorously as he becomes angrier. He pins her arms to her chest and holds a hand over her mouth. She makes several utterances of pain before Rahim implicitly climaxes and releases his hold on her. The film contained other non-violent sex scenes that could be accommodated at the upper limit of the MA 15+ classification. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong sexual violence and sex scenes”.

The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking is a stop-motion comedy film which uses puppets to parody the characters from The Walking Dead television series. The film contains strong crude humour, sexual references and animated violence that are inextricably linked and justified by context. These elements occur frequently throughout the film in the form of rapid-fire, brief comedy sketches featuring puppets that are animated using stop-motion techniques. The sketches satirise the popular American television series, The Walking Dead, using a crude and deliberately provocative style of parody. In the Board’s opinion, the cumulative impact of the frequent sexual references and violence exceeded moderate. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong crude humour, sexual references and animated bloody violence”.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 is a medical drama series which follows the intertwined personal and professional lives of surgeons at Seattle’s Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Episodes contain surgical scenes that are realistically simulated including open surgery, injury repair and tumour removal that contain significant blood and wound detail. For instance, in one scene, two men enter the hospital after a hockey fight. One man clutches at some gauze which he holds to his bloody, lacerated face. A doctor asks to see his injury. When the gauze is removed a large, bloody, visceral wound with extensive injury detail is depicted, including an exposed eye-socket. In the Board’s opinion, although the surgical scenes are depicted in a clinical manner and detail was often obscured by the framing and position of the surgeons’ hands, they exceed a moderate impact level. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong surgical scenes”, which subsumed consumer advice of “injury detail,” given the medical context.

Lawrence Mooney: Moonman is a live comedy performance, recorded in Brisbane. It includes several utterances of very strong coarse language, in addition to use of episodically frequent strong coarse language, heightened by some of the gestures used. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong coarse language and sexual references”.

I, Tonya is an American dark comedy, which is based on the life of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, who became infamous after being associated with an attack on Nancy Kerrigan, a fellow competitor. It includes three utterances of very strong coarse language in addition to use of strong coarse language which is occasionally aggressive and frequent. It also contains implied sexual activity. Despite the brevity of the sex scene, and there being no genital detail or breast nudity depicted, it exceeded moderate in impact and therefore, the film warranted an MA 15+ classification with consumer advice of “Strong coarse language and sex scene”.

Tin Star is a British/Canadian crime thriller television series which follows Jim Worth, a former British detective who moved his family to a small town in Canada. The film contains strong themes, including crime, inextricably linked to violence that is justified by context. One of the most impactful scenes occurs when Jim’s son, Peter, is shot and killed when the family pull over to get fuel. When Jim realises that the bullet was meant for him, he embarks on a violent, vengeful spree. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong themes, violence and coarse language”.

Le Redoutable is a French biographical comedy-drama film (subtitled in English) about the relationship of filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and his wife, Anne Wiazemsky, in the late-1960s. Jean-Luc and Anne, both stand nude in full-length views, as they discuss nudity in film. In the Board’s opinion, although heavily mitigated by the naturalistic, non-sexualised presentation and the film’s commentary on depictions of nudity in cinema, the impact of the nudity in the film exceeded moderate, owing to the duration of the scene and repeated full-length views. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong nudity”.

The Hunter’s Prayer is a thriller feature film set throughout Europe, which follows hired assassin, Lucas, and on-the-run American girl, Ella, as they try to escape the English drug lord who killed Ella’s parents. In a scene, Lucas sits in a car preparing a syringe with cloudy liquid from a vial. He taps his arm to raise a vein, and implicitly injects himself. The syringe contact is obscured, out of frame. Lucas leans back in his seat, as his face calms and his speech becomes slow. In the Board’s opinion, the drug use and other drug references exceeded a moderate impact level. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong drug use”.

Deep Blue Sea 2 is an American horror film in which a team of scientists and specialists are terrorised by killer sharks in an underground lab. Thematic material comprises bloody injury detail, including entrails, dismemberment and decapitation, resulting from shark attacks. The film’s consumer advice was “Strong bloody injury detail”.

Dominion is a feature-length Australian documentary film which uses hidden and handheld camera footage accompanied by voiceover narration, to examine modern animal agricultural practices and ethical considerations. Strong thematic content in the film includes frequent depictions of animal cruelty and slaughter. Some depictions are from hidden cameras and are thus grainy and poorly lit, but others are explicit and show close-up detail of wounded and dead animals as well as slaughtering procedures and practices. The film’s consumer advice was “Animal slaughter and cruelty, strong coarse language”.

R18+ Restricted to 18 and over classification 

The R 18+ classification category is wide in scope giving effect to the Code principle that adults should, with limited exceptions, be able to read, hear and see what they want. The R 18+ classification is legally restricted to adults. People under 18 are not permitted to view R 18+ films in cinemas, or to rent or buy them. The impact of material classified R 18+ should not exceed high. Some material classified R 18+ may be offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Out of the total of 2,629 commercial films classified in 2017–18, 35 films were classified R 18+.

Films classified R 18+ in the reporting period include: Cult of Chucky; Dead Hands Dig Deep; Death Wish; Do Women Have a Higher Sex Drive?; Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis; L’Amante Double; Members Only; Rise of the Footsoldier the Pat Tate Story; The Void; Toofan Singh.

Testrol Es Lelekrol (On Body and Soul) is a dramatic Hungarian film (with English subtitles) in which Endre, the CFO of a slaughterhouse, and Mária, a quality control inspector, begin a relationship upon realising they share the same dreams every night. The film contains a scene in which Mária watches a pornographic film at home which depicts an explicit sexual act. Although somewhat obscured by its soft focus in the background of the sequence, the sexual act is fully visible throughout the shot. Although the sequence features footage from a pornographic film, the sequence is designed to give insight into Mária’s character and neurosis rather than titillate the audience and is not overtly sexualised in nature, with Mária, rather than the pornographic film, remaining its main focus throughout. In the Board’s opinion, the depiction of actual sexual activity was considered neither gratuitous nor exploitative, rather appearing to be part of a genuine exploration of sexuality, love and relationship issues, which was considered to be contextually relevant within the narrative of the film. The Board accommodated the film within the R 18+ category, with consumer advice of “Brief depiction of actual sexual activity”.

Fortitude: The Complete Second Season is a complex, psychological thriller series set in a fictional, international community located on Svalbard in Arctic Norway. It contains an extended scene in which a young man, Vladek, implicitly cuts off his own genitals and cauterises the subsequent wound. Despite the implicit nature of the depiction, the extended duration of the scene and graphic post-action visuals impart a high viewing impact. The film’s consumer advice was “High impact themes”.

Tom of Finland is a Finnish (with English subtitles) dramatised biopic about the life of Tuoko Laaksonen, a Finnish soldier in World War II, who became an artist famed for his stylised, highly masculinised, homoerotic fetish art. The film contains multiple detailed illustrations by the artist which feature sexualised imagery and nudity that are high in viewing impact and are inextricably linked. The film’s consumer advice was “High impact sexualised imagery and nudity”.

Leatherface is an American/Bulgarian co-produced horror film, in which a teenage psychopath and several other inmates escape from a mental hospital, pursued by a lawman who is out for revenge. The film contains multiple violent sequences with lengthy depictions of attacks, with weapons such as a chainsaw. The wound detail and large amount of blood depicted during these sequences are high in viewing impact. The film’s consumer advice was “High impact bloody violence”.

The Survivalist is an Irish film, in which a survivalist lives off the land whilst hidden in a forest during a time of starvation, before the arrival of two women seeking food and shelter changes everything. The film contains sexual activity that is realistically simulated and nudity, which are inextricably linked and high in viewing impact. The film’s consumer advice was “High impact sexual activity”.

X18+ Restricted to 18 and over classification 

The X 18+ classification applies to films only. It is a special and legally restricted category which contains only sexually explicit material: that is, material which contains real depictions of actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity between consenting adults. X 18+ films are restricted to adults 18 years and over. These films can only be legally sold or hired in the Australian Capital Territory and parts of the Northern Territory.

Films classified X 18+ can contain real depictions of actual sexual activity between consenting adults, but the classification does not allow violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence or coercion. Nor does it allow consensual depictions which purposefully demean anyone involved in that activity for the enjoyment of viewers.

No films were classified X 18+ during 2017–18.

RC Refused Classification

Films that are classified RC cannot be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia. Films will be classified RC if they depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults, to the extent that they should not be classified. Films containing descriptions or depictions of child sexual abuse, or any other exploitative or offensive descriptions or depictions involving a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 years, will also be classified RC; as will films depicting gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact, including sexual violence.

No commercial films were classified RC in the reporting period.

Computer games

Decisions for computer games were made using the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2012 (the Games Guidelines).

The Games Guidelines explain the different classification categories and the scope and limits of material suitable for each category. Several principles underlie the use of the Games Guidelines, including interactivity, the importance of context and assessing the impact of the six classifiable elements (themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity).

The Board’s general practice, when providing consumer advice, is to indicate the strongest classifiable element or elements contained in the game, which caused it to receive the designated classification level. The consumer advice is usually preceded by a descriptor to indicate impact or intensity. This descriptor generally corresponds with the hierarchy of impact stated in the Games Guidelines.

In March 2017, after a six month consideration of the utility and practicality of the consumer advice, “VR interactivity” on all Virtual Reality-enabled games, the Board decided to no longer use this consumer advice on a mandatory basis on such games, as in order to play these games certain headgear is required and therefore, it is apparent that the game is VR-enabled. The Board, however, reserved the right to use the “VR interactivity” consumer advice on a case-by-case basis on any media where it believes it is warranted; for example, media containing blended film/VR and/or blended film/computer game content, or at such time where VR headsets are no longer required to activate VR content and therefore, the existence of VR gameplay may not be immediately apparent. No computer game used the consumer advice “VR interactivity” in the reporting period (notwithstanding that some games were VR-enabled).

G General Classification 

The G classification is for a general audience and is the largest classification category for computer games. While many games at the G classification are targeted towards children, it does not necessarily mean that a child will enjoy all games classified G. Computer games classified G in the reporting period include: Castaway Paradise; Detective Pikachu; Le Tour De France 2018; Mario Tennis Aces; Pure Farming 2018; The Adventure Pals; TT Isle of Man; Unravel 2.

Out of the total of 442 computer games classified in 2017–18, 113 computer games were classified G.

Stunt Corgi is a VR game in which a Corgi navigates an obstacle course designed by the player, featuring various props including ramps, trampolines, and slides. The game’s consumer advice was “General”.

Crayola Scoot is a third-person perspective scooter-riding game, with a unique colouring method. As the character performs tricks, brightly coloured paint sprays out of the scooter, covering the ground and skate ramps. There are a number of gameplay modes, including competing to cover the most area in paint and painting target letters to spell words. When a character misses a jump or fails a landing, it can crash into the ramp or fall onto the ground. It will then lie still for a split second, occasionally with small stars swirling around its head, before it respawns at a nearby location. All of the characters wear protective clothing, such as helmets, gloves and elbow- and knee-pads. There is no health bar or penalty incurred for crashes, except lost time associated with the respawn. There is a local multiplayer mode, which features a split screen with up to four players. The game’s consumer advice was “General”.

Yoku’s Island Express is a platform game, with brightly-coloured animation, in which the player guides Yoku, a dung beetle attached to a small ball, through a fantasy world on a quest to re-awaken a sleeping god and collect small fruit icons. Pinball-style flippers are engaged to propel Yoku between the platforms in the side-scrolling environment. Yoku encounters various fantasy creatures on his journey, such as giant spiders, who block his path. By rolling over the pinball-style flippers, Yoku is able to be projected towards the bodies of the enemy creatures, crashing into them and causing the screen to flash with a red light. After Yoku collides with an enemy creature multiple times, the creature is defeated and explodes. The creatures do not attack Yoku. The game’s consumer advice was “Very mild fantasy themes”.

Brief Battles is a colourful, stylised platform fighter game in which different pairs of underpants provide characters with specific abilities. Players control colourful and cute fictional creatures who battle other players’ characters by attempting to land on and “pop” them. Characters may also be “popped” by environmental obstacles, such as ice-spikes and prickly vines. Character “popping” results in a skull-shaped wisp of smoke before the character is regenerated at a spawn point elsewhere in the arena. The impact of the violence is mitigated by the comedic tone, colourful look, distant perspective and unrealistic nature of the game. The game’s consumer advice was “Very mild violence and crude humour”.

PG Parental guidance recommended classification 

Computer games in this classification contain content that a child may find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of a parent or guardian. Computer games classified PG in the reporting period include: Axiom Verge; Battlezone; Laser League; Moonlighter; Oh My Godheads; Owlboy; Realms of Arkania: Star Trail; Scribblenauts Showdown; Steamworld Dig 2; Sushi Striker: The Way of the Sushido; World of Warriors.

Out of the total of 442 computer games classified in 2017–18, 130 computer games were classified PG.

Puzzle Fighter is a competitive block-matching puzzle game in which players must match pairs of falling coloured blocks (or “gems”) in order to create a row. The game is presented visually as a parody of one-on-one fighting games, with two fighters in the centre of the screen set against a static backdrop or arena. Transparent rectangles are overlaid at the left and right of the screen, each containing falling puzzle blocks. Graphics are highly stylised, with fighters drawn as cartoon-like, “super-deformed” versions of their fighting game counterparts. Gameplay consists of positioning and placing the falling blocks but is accompanied by animations of the fighters performing various taunts and fighting moves including kicks, punches and jumps. Some of the characters use swords or fire projectile weapons such as pistols or balls of energy. Characters may be knocked backwards or appear momentarily dazed but no other damage is depicted. At the end of each match, a brief “K.O.” animation depicts the victorious fighter knocking out his or her opponent. The game’s consumer advice was “Mild violence, online interactivity”.

Illusion A Tale of the Mind Episode 1 is a narrative-driven puzzle/adventure game set in Paris, 1924, in which the player takes the role of Emma, a young girl who must rescue her circus performer parents from the grip of a mad illusionist. The game includes alcohol use and references to war. Emma and her stuffed rabbit companion, Topsy, are caught inside a surrealistic fantasy world. The game uses a third-person perspective and highly stylised graphics to render characters and environments. Gameplay consists of exploring environments and solving puzzles in order to progress from one level to the next. Emma sees the white outlines of figures lying implicitly dead or injured as a result of implied battlefield violence. At one point, Emma encounters a fantasy creature that appears to be a giant eyeball atop a torso, seemingly composed of a thick black liquid. The creature chases Emma and Topsy along a corridor, its oversized black hands reaching for her as she runs, imparting a mild sense of threat or peril. The treatment of themes is mitigated by the game’s surrealistic art style and fantasy context. The game’s consumer advice was “Mild themes”.

We Sing Pop! is a karaoke-style game for PlayStation 4. Players accrue points by filling in the pitch bars on-screen for the song of their choosing. Results appear at the end of the song and can be submitted to the online leader-board. Music videos accompany the music and the lyrics scroll across the bottom of the screen. In the video for the Jason Derulo song, Want to Want Me, there are images of a woman in lingerie in a range of mild impact sexualised poses. The game’s consumer advice was “Mild sexualised imagery, online interactivity”.

Atomega is an online-only, multiplayer game where players take the form of an artificial intelligence, and engage in stylised first-person combat in order to level-up their character. Players collect cubes of mass throughout the environment, but can also fire a laser-like weapon at other players, causing them to lose mass which can then be gathered. The rim of the player’s screen flashes red when they take damage but no blood or wound detail is viewed. Players cannot die in the game, they simply shed cubes of mass and revert back to Atom form. The impact of the violence in the game is mitigated by the game’s simplistic, stylised graphics and science-fiction setting. The game’s consumer advice was “Mild science fiction violence, online interactivity”.

Hero Defense [sic] is a single-player adventure game, combining elements of real-time strategy, role-playing and tower defence games, in which the player takes control of five heroes in order to defeat an undead army led by the vampire, Count Necrosis. The game uses a distant, top-down isometric perspective and a colourful, stylised graphics engine to depict its cartoon-like heroes, enemies (such as skeletons, vampires and zombies) and village environments. Gameplay primarily follows the “tower defence” formula, with the player’s characters taking up static positions on the game map to eliminate waves of enemies. Violence takes the form of hero characters firing projectile weapons such as crossbows or throwing jars of “holy water” or fire bombs to eliminate enemies – no injury or blood detail is depicted. The game’s consumer advice was “Mild fantasy themes and violence”.

M Recommended for mature audiences classification 

Computer games classified M are not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. Accordingly, they require a mature perspective. There are no legal restrictions on access, and ultimately it is the responsibility of a parent or guardian to make decisions about appropriate entertainment material for their child and to provide adequate supervision.

Out of the total of 442 computer games classified in 2017–18, 113 computer games were classified M.

Computer games classified M in the reporting period include: Blazblue Cross Tag Battle; Crossing Souls; Darkest Dungeon; Deer Hunter Reloaded; Destiny 2; Dynasty Warriors 9; Fire Pro Wrestling World; Milanoir; Octopath Traveler [sic]; Out of Ammo; Papers, Please; Skyforge; Star Wars: Battlefront II; Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection; Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet.

Demon Gaze II is an anime-style RPG game, in which the player, as a Demon Gazer, explores dungeons and battles demons in order to recruit them to the Revolutionist Party and defeat the tyrant Magnastar. The game has online interactivity in the form of messages that players can leave in dungeons for other players. The game contains sexual references rendered primarily via depictions of female characters, who are scantily clad or depicted as naked. Several female ‘daemon’ characters, including Succubus, Sophia and Priscilla have hair partially covering their breasts, obscuring their nipples, and their skeletal tails are coiled across their groins, obscuring their genitalia. In the mini-game, Maintenance, the player is able to restore the health of other characters by applying various magical cures, such as herbal potions and liquors. The process requires the player to move a cross-hair sight over a static depiction of a character’s body, which causes a spiral of green light to appear over various afflicted areas, including the neck, ears, torso and breasts. Once the cure has been applied to all areas of the body, the player’s ‘likability’ score increases. The game’s consumer advice was “Sexualised imagery, online interactivity.”

Pixark is an open-world sandbox survival game with blocky, colourful graphics and a choice of third- or first-person perspective. The game has online interactivity in the form of multiplayer modes, text-chat and voice-chat. Players must survive by harvesting, crafting, growing crops, hunting, navigating natural hazards, and fighting against both roaming dinosaurs and hostile human players. As players progress they can craft a variety of increasingly powerful weapons, such as pick-axes and clubs, culminating in assault rifles, a sniper rifle, a pump-action shotgun and a rocket launcher. When a player’s character takes damage, it grunts in pain and red “blood” stains the perimeter of the screen. If killed, the screen goes black and the text “You were killed by…” appears on screen. The most impactful violence in the game occurs when players shoot other human characters in the head, rapidly firing bullets, with blood-like red cubes spraying outwards from the opponent’s head as they collapse and die. The player can continue to shoot the corpse, with the blood-like cubes continuing to spray outwards. Although the impact of the violence is mitigated by the colourful and blocky graphics, it is conversely heightened by the game’s use of blood-like effects, real-world guns and the capability of a first-person perspective while engaged in gun-violence, transforming the game into a first-person shooter. The game’s consumer advice was “Violence, online interactivity”.

Flea Market Games Box is a battery-powered miniature console which plugs into a television screen, containing 200 in-built games in a wide range of genres including platform adventures, sports, racing and flight simulators, and simulated gambling involving a casino card game. Players use a built-in joystick and buttons to play. The card game, commonly played at casinos, is called Baccarat. The player starts with a bank of $5,000 and places bets, up to a limit of $250 (represented by casino chips of $5, $25 and $100 denominations), as the player competes against a computer-generated dealer in rounds of the card game. The game’s consumer advice was “Simulated gambling”.

The Coma Recut is a survival adventure game in which the player, as Youngho, a Korean high school student, attempts to solve a mystery while being pursued by a psychotic killer in the corridors of Sehwa High. The school is dimly lit as Youngho explores classrooms and hallways by torchlight, uncovering notes and other clues about the identity of the killer. Youngho is unable to fight the killer. When the killer attacks Youngho, by slashing at him with a knife, stylised blood effects appear on screen. If Youngho is unable to run or hide he can be killed and is depicted lying on the floor in a post-action visual with a small amount of blood on his shirt. As he searches the school, Youngho discovers a room in which several female students, who are depicted hanging by their necks, appear to have committed suicide. The bodies of students who have implicitly been killed by Youngho’s pursuer are also occasionally depicted falling from air-vents. The treatment of the themes and violence is mitigated by the highly stylised 2D graphics and small amounts of blood detail. The game’s consumer advice was “Horror themes and violence”.

The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is a same-room multiplayer party game in which players use their smartphones or tablets as controllers. The mini-games in the pack are Fibbage (a comical fill-the-blank game), Survive the Internet (a truth-twisting game), Monster Seeking Monster (a mock-dating game), Bracketeering (a creative-answer game) and Civic Doodle (a drawing game). The game contains online interactivity in the form of content sharing. The game generates prompts, in the form or challenges or questions, to players who respond in text or through drawing. In many instances the prompts contain innuendo and are risqué or sexual in nature. The game’s consumer advice was “Crude sexual humour, online interactivity”.

MA15+ Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian classification 

Computer games classified MA 15+ are not suitable for persons under 15 years of age. It is a legally restricted category, which means that people under 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to buy or hire an MA 15+ computer game. MA 15+ computer games contain themes, violence, sex, language, drug use or nudity which have a strong impact.

Out of the total of 442 computer games classified in 2017–18, 64 computer games were classified MA 15+.

Computer games classified MA 15+ in the reporting period include: Assassin’s Creed Origins; Dishonored [sic]: Death of the Outsider; Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: The Ultimate Life & Death Fight; Dark Souls: Remastered; Quake Champions; Remothered: Tormented Fathers; Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition; State of Mind; Uncharted: The Lost Legacy; Warhammer: Vermintide 2.

L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, is a collection of missions from the previously classified game L.A. Noire – in which the player, as Detective Cole Phelps, is challenged to solve a series of crimes including murders in 1940s Los Angeles – rebuilt to function in a virtual reality environment with VR interactivity. The game has online interactivity in the form of connectivity with the Rockstar Games Social Club, in which basic statistics and in-game accomplishments are recorded. The player, controlling Detective Phelps, investigates bodies, interactively moving a corpse’s limbs and investigating wounds up-close. At one point, Detective Phelps uses a flame thrower to set alight criminals he is fighting, with the criminals lunging forward while alight, before falling to the ground, dead. The Detective also shoots various criminals with resulting blood splatter and spray. Nudity was at the upper limit of the M classification and so was included as additional consumer advice for the game: “Strong themes, violence and nudity, online interactivity”.

Detroit Become Human is an interactive science-fiction drama set in Detroit in the year 2038, where a growing population of rogue androids, known as “deviants”, are beginning to experience human emotions. The player takes the roles of three android characters in an interlocking narrative. The game contains online interactivity in the form of shared playing paths. The game uses a realistic 3D game engine and alternates between first- and third-person perspectives, with limited control over camera movement. Interactivity is also limited, with gameplay consisting primarily of the player responding to on-screen choices or reacting to on-screen prompts as the narrative unfolds.

Depending on the player’s choices, scenes can end with a number of different (though limited) outcomes. In one sequence, as the player takes the role of Kara, dinner is served to Todd and his daughter, Alice (who is later revealed to be an android). Todd, who is under the influence of a drug called ‘Red Ice’, is angry that his wife has left him and directs his anger towards Alice. He stands up abruptly and implicitly slaps her across the face, the camera cutting away before the point of contact. Alice runs upstairs. Todd orders Kara to stay still as he follows Alice up the stairs, vowing to “thrash” her with his belt.

The player has the option of following Todd’s order and staying still, or “breaking” Kara’s programming in order to intervene. If the player remains still, Todd’s belt can be heard striking Alice, who screams with pain. If the player intervenes, Kara may find Todd carrying the body of Alice, implicitly dead, and placing her on a bed, saying, “Daddy isn’t angry anymore.” Kara may also find Alice hiding in a room, and then escape with her through an open window. Alternatively, Kara may fight Todd, reacting to quick time events in order to avoid his kicks and punches. The fight can result in either Alice or Kara using a pistol to shoot and implicitly kill Todd, with a brief red burst of blood rising from his chest, before they escape.

The fictional drug, ‘Red Ice’, bears a strong resemblance to crystal methamphetamine (known as “ice”), and is encountered in sealed plastic bags in the game. On one occasion Todd, who is sitting on a couch, is depicted smoking ‘Red Ice’, loading, lighting and then inhaling from a pipe resting on a table in front of him. The realistic depiction of the preparation, use and effects, which bears a strong resemblance to a real-world drug, imparts a strong impact. The game’s consumer advice was “Strong themes, violence, drug use and coarse language, online interactivity”.

Tokyo Dark is a third-person arcade-style game in which the player investigates the disappearance of their detective partner through conversing with locals and exploring the 2D environment. Point-and-click mechanics are used to explore the world. The character has four statistics that the player must be aware of and maintain. They are Professionalism, Sanity, Investigation and Neurosis. The stats are affected by the character’s actions and, depending on their level, they affect the outcomes of future choices. The character can be hospitalised and given anti-psychotics, depicted as a pill, if their stats remain low for too long. It is possible for the character to commit suicide if directed by the player, by repeatedly taking pills. The thematic content is heightened by the dark tone and tense, threatening music. The game’s consumer advice was “Strong themes”.

EA Sports UFC 3 is a third-person, sports fighting simulation game for PS4 based on the real life Ultimate Fighting Championship competition. The game involves opponents fighting in a mixed martial arts style within an octagonal arena, using kicks, punches, grappling, wrestling and various other forms of hand-to-hand unarmed combat. The contact is strong in impact with a focus on realism both in the graphics and in the sound effects. Blood detail is shown at the height of the combat. The game includes online interactivity in the form of player-vs-player matches. The game’s consumer advice was “Strong sporting violence, online interactivity”.

R18+ Restricted to 18 and over classification 

The R 18+ classification category is wide in scope giving effect to the Code principle that adults should, with limited exceptions, be able to read, hear and see what they want. The R 18+ classification is legally restricted to adults. People under 18 are not permitted to rent or buy R 18+ computer games. The impact of material classified R 18+ should not exceed high. Some material classified R 18+ may be offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Out of the total of 442 computer games classified in 2017–18, 20 computer games were classified R 18+.

Computer games classified R 18+ in the reporting period include: Agony; Doom VFR; Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk; South Park: The Fractured But Whole; Yakuza Kiwami 2.

Kingdom Come Deliverance is a first-person adventure computer game set in medieval Europe, in which the player must complete quest-like objectives, combat an invading army, and experience life in the 15th century. In one gameplay sequence, the player comes across three foreign soldiers struggling with a woman whom they have cornered against the wall of a house. The woman yells, “You pigs. Don’t touch me or I’ll kill you,” and, “You pigs. Get away from me.” A text box appears with the player’s next objective, which reads, “Help Theresa get away from the rapists.” When the player approaches, the soldiers release the woman to engage in combat with the player, allowing the woman to run into the house. In an unrelated cut scene, Henry and a woman run into a barn. They lay down on a pile of hay and begin kissing. The picture fades to black and, when the picture returns, the two characters are depicted naked, seen from the waist up, with Henry on top of the woman, thrusting. The camera angle changes to show female breast detail and male buttocks as Henry continues to thrust. The third camera angle depicts the woman’s face in close-up with Henry thrusting over her before the sequence fades out. The game’s consumer advice was “High impact sex scenes and references to sexual violence”.

Gal*Gun 2 is an anime-style Japanese first-person rail shooting game in which the player controls a male high school student who, armed with a water-pistol like device called a Pheromone Shot, must fend off the attentions of female students who have been possessed by a mischievous demon. The game uses a first-person perspective and a highly-stylised 3D graphics engine, with characters and environments rendered in a cartoon-like anime style. Although much of the game is set in a fantasy high school environment, all of the female characters appear as fantasy representations of an indeterminate age. Gameplay consists of the player, armed with the Pheromone Shot weapon, shooting attacking females and then “sucking up” the cartoon-like small flying demons which appear from their bodies.

In some levels of the game, females who have been successfully incapacitated will shed their clothing and appear in their underwear. A separate game mode, called Doki Doki mode, gives the player a 360-degree view of a clothed female character arranged in various sexually suggestive poses and requires the player to target specific body parts of various female characters in order to exorcise the demons from their bodies and “purify” them. The player is able to control the rotation of the camera in this mode, as well as zoom in on the female character’s body parts, including the breast, buttock and genital areas. A circular pink targeting reticule appears on screen which the player is able to move over the female’s body to find the correct target.

Sexually-suggestive dialogue (translated in English at the bottom of the screen) accompanies the gameplay, with female characters moaning softly and saying lines such as: “Rough play is not allowed.”, “OK, please be gentle.”, “Let’s change positions, okay?”, “I can’t hold back anymore!”, “My body’s screaming!” and “It’s spilling out!” The player must complete the “purge” before an on-screen countdown (at the top left corner) expires. On completing the task, the player is given a ranking based on the number of demons expelled and captured. In some cases, the female character’s clothing will also disappear, with small white cups of material covering the character’s breasts and buttocks. The player may also be awarded a trophy for exceptional performance if the female character’s “love aura” is determined to be “overflowing”. The game’s consumer advice was “Sexual activity related to incentives and rewards”.

Blue Reflection is a Japanese turn-based RPG with school-life simulation elements. The player takes the role of Hinako Shirai, a high school girl who gains the ability to travel to an alternate world. She meets other school girls throughout the course of the game. Some events in the game involve these characters bathing or showering nude. The player may receive rewards, such as an increase in their player statistics, after they participate in these events. “Friendship” levels between characters are improved which helps the player gain more co-operation in battles. The game’s consumer advice was “Nudity related to incentives and rewards”. The Board noted that if the nudity was not related to incentives and rewards, the nudity and sexualised imagery in the game could have been accommodated within the MA 15+ classification.

The Evil Within 2 is a single-player, survival horror game in which the player takes the role of former police detective Sebastian Castellanos, who must enter the virtual world of the STEM simulated environment system in order to save his daughter, Lily. The game uses a third-person perspective and a 3D graphics engine to create a stylised “virtual world” with character models, fantasy creatures (such as zombies and other monsters), and environments rendered in realistic detail.

The game contains frequent depictions of violence that are inextricably linked to thematic material including, but not limited to, scenarios involving torture and brutality, and depictions of blood and gore. Violence is interactive within gameplay and involves the player attacking creatures using both ranged and melee weapons. Blood effects are copious and some attacks result in dismemberment, with bloody, dismembered limbs and/or internal organs and entrails viewed post-action. Significant injury detail such as a severed head and limb stumps and bloody head wounds are also noted. The player can use a “stomp” button to stomp on the heads of fallen zombies, resulting in copious sprays of blood across the screen. Zombies may also be approached from behind and stabbed in the back of the head, then decapitated, or shot from a distance, with the bullets opening the zombies’ skulls to reveal brain matter and worm-like creatures before a final bullet explodes the cracked skulls in sprays of blood. Blood trails, blood splatters and dismembered body parts are frequently depicted in various environments. During one sequence, Sebastian enters what appears to be a medieval torture chamber, with charred, mutilated bodies stretched on racks and strewn across wooden benches covered in blood. As the player explores the environment, Sebastian says, “Looks [as if] they were burned alive.” The game’s consumer advice was “High impact horror violence, blood and gore”.

RC Refused Classification

In 2017–18, out of the total of 442 computer games classified, two computer games were classified RC.

Computer games that are classified RC cannot be legally sold, hired, advertised or demonstrated in Australia. Computer games will be classified RC if they contain content that has a very high impact.

Two computer games were classified RC during the reporting period: Omega Labyrinth Z and We Happy Few.

Omega Labyrinth Z is a dungeon-crawling game with a top-down perspective, in which the player controls several students of Anberyl Girls Academy who are in search of “the Holy Grail of Beauty” – an object with the ability to grant any wish – which the students wish to use to modify their breast sizes. In the opinion of the Board, this game warranted an RC classification in accordance with items 1(a) and (b) of the computer games table (clause 4) of the Code. Item 1(a) provides, in part, that computer games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, … in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified” are to be Refused Classification. Item 1(b) provides that computer games that “describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not)” are to be Refused Classification.

The game features a variety of female characters with their cleavages emphasised by their overtly provocative clothing, which often reveal the sides or underside of their breasts and obscured genital region. Multiple female characters are also depicted fully nude, with genitals obscured by objects and streams of light, throughout the game. Although of indeterminate age, most of these characters are adult-like. One character, Urara Rurikawa, is clearly depicted as child-like in comparison with the other female characters. In the Board’s opinion, the character of Urara Rurikawa is a depiction of a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 years.

In some gameplay modes, including the “awakening” mode, the player is able to touch the breasts, buttocks, mouths and genital regions of each character, including Urara Rurikawa, while they are in sexualised poses, receiving either positive verbal feedback for interactions or negative verbal feedback, which also implies a lack of consent.

The aim of these sections in the game is, implicitly, to sexually arouse these characters to the point that a “shame break” is activated, in which some of the characters’ clothing is removed – with genital regions obscured by light and various objects – and the background changes colour as they implicitly orgasm.

In the Board’s opinion, the ability to interact with the character, Urara Rurikawa, constitutes a simulation of sexual stimulation of a child. Therefore, the computer game depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with matters of sex (in this case, a fantasy of sexual stimulation of a child) that is offensive or abhorrent in such a way that it offends against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified. As the fantasy involves a child-like character, the computer game also describes or depicts in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18.

We Happy Few is a psychedelic, single-player, action-adventure game set in 1964 after England lost World War II, where the population of the fictional dystopian town, Wellington Wells, consume a drug called “Joy”, mandated by the government, which causes memory loss. The player takes the role of three characters in an interlocking narrative: Arthur, a weedy archivist searching for his brother; Sally, a chemist who wants to escape; and Ollie, who is keen to expose the truth about the town’s dwindling food supplies.

In the Board’s opinion this game warranted a Refused Classification (RC) in accordance with item 1(a) of the computer games table of the Code. Item 1(a) provides, in part, that computer games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of … drug use or addiction, … in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified” are to be Refused Classification. Furthermore, the Games Guidelines state that:

  • “Computer games will be Refused Classification if they contain:

    (i) illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards;

    (ii) interactive drug use which is detailed and realistic.”

  • “Computer Games that exceed the R 18+ classification category will be RC.”

The R 18 + classification in relation to Drug Use states, “Drug use is permitted. Drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted. Interactive illicit or proscribed drug use that is detailed and realistic is not permitted.

Gameplay consists of exploring the town in first-person, where both non-playing characters (NPCs) and the player consume ‘Joy’, which includes side-effects such as euphoria and memory loss, and surreal, psychedelic sequences including butterflies and brightly-coloured streetscapes.

If a player has not taken ‘Joy’, NPCs become hostile towards the player if they perform behaviours including running, jumping and staring. An NPC character called the Doctor, can detect when the player has not taken ‘Joy’ and will subsequently raise an alarm. A player who takes ‘Joy’ can reduce gameplay difficulty, thereby receiving an incentive as progression through the game happens more quickly. Although there are alternative methods to complete the game, gameplay requires the player to take ‘Joy’ to progress.

In the Board’s opinion, the game’s drug-use mechanic, making game progression less difficult, constitutes an incentive or reward for drug-use and therefore, the game exceeded the R 18+ classification which prohibits drug use related to incentives and rewards. Therefore, the game warranted being Refused Classification. This decision was reviewed by the Classification Review Board.

Publications

Only “submittable publications” must be classified before they can legally be advertised or distributed in Australia.

Section 5 of the Classification Act defines a submittable publication as:

  • an unclassified publication that, having regard to section 9A or to the Code and the classification guidelines to the extent that they relate to publications, contains depictions or descriptions that:

    a) are likely to cause the publication to be classified RC; or

    b) are likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult to the extent that the publication should not be sold or displayed as an unrestricted publication; or

    c) are unsuitable for a minor to see or read.

It is the responsibility of distributors to ensure that they meet classification requirements for publications. The enforcement legislation in some states and territories provides that it is an offence to sell or deliver a submittable publication that has not been classified.

Classifications

There are four classifications for publications – Unrestricted, Category 1 restricted, Category 2 restricted and Refused Classification (RC).

The Guidelines for the Classification of Publications are used by the Classification Board when classifying publications. They explain the different classification categories and the scope and limits of material suitable for each category.

Unrestricted

Unrestricterd image 

Unrestricted M (Mature) Not recommended for readers under 15 years 

The Unrestricted classification covers a wide range of material. Unrestricted publications may contain classifiable elements such as sex and nudity with some detail but the impact should not be so strong as to require legal restriction to adults.

A special consideration of the Board in classifying publications is the suitability of covers for public display. There are specific criteria for the assessment of covers, which specify that the impact of any descriptions or depictions and references on covers should be low. This accords with one of the principles of the Code, namely that everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material that they may find offensive. Publications with covers that are not suitable for public display cannot be classified Unrestricted.

Generally, there are no restrictions on the sale or display of Unrestricted publications. However, the Board can apply consumer advice not recommending the publication for readers under 15 years.

During the reporting period, a total of 31 classification decisions were made in relation to commercial applications for the classification of publications. This figure includes the granting of five serial publication declarations.

Out of the total of 31 classification decisions for publications, 10 single issue publications and two serial publications were classified Unrestricted. Titles of Unrestricted publications classified by the Board during 2017–18 included The Picture and People.

Category 1 restricted

Category 1 Restricted R Not available to persons under 18 years 

Restricted Category 1 R Not available to persons under 18 years 

During the reporting period, of the total 31 publications classified (including nine serial publication declarations), 12 single issue publications and seven serial publications were classified Category 1 restricted.

Category 1 restricted publications may include realistic depictions of nudity, realistic depictions of sexual excitement and detailed descriptions and simulated or obscured depictions of sexual activity between consenting adults.

Category 1 restricted publications can only be sold to persons 18 years of age and over and must be displayed in a sealed wrapper. The Classification Board can impose a further condition that the sealed wrapper is made of opaque material. Category 1 restricted publications cannot be sold in Queensland.

Titles of Category 1 restricted publications classified by the Board during 2017–18 included Score and Voluptuous.

Category 2 restricted

Category 2 Restricted R Not available to persons under 18 years 

Restricted Category 2 R Not available to persons under 18 years 

During the reporting period, of the total 31 publications classified (including nine serial publication declarations), no single issue publications were classified Category 2 restricted. No serial publications were classified Category 2 restricted.

Category 2 restricted publications may include realistic depictions of actual sexual activity involving consenting adults.

Category 2 restricted publications can only be sold to persons 18 years of age and over and can only be displayed in restricted premises. Category 2 restricted publications cannot be sold in Queensland.

RC Refused Classification

Publications classified RC cannot be sold or displayed in Australia. During the reporting period, of the total 31 publications classified (including nine serial declarations), no publications were classified RC.

Serial classifications for publications

On application, the Classification Board can issue a serial classification declaration. This means that a classification (and conditions, if applicable) given to one issue of a periodical will apply to a specified number of future issues of the same periodical. Publishers must ensure that the future issues do not have content at a higher level than the serial declaration allows.

During the reporting period, nine periodicals were granted a serial classification declaration. Eight of these declarations were granted for a 24-month period, and one declaration was granted for a 12-month period. The Classification Board did not refuse any serial classification declarations in 2017–18.

The Classification Board checks publications covered by serial classification declarations. During the reporting period, three checks were undertaken; two publications contained content at the level of the classification granted and one publication contained content that was higher than the classification granted. No consequential action was taken during this reporting period.

Other decisions

Internet content

No internet content was submitted by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner for classification during the reporting period.

Correspondence

Correspondence

The Classification Board seeks to reflect current community standards in its decision making, and feedback from the community is informative and helpful.

During the 2017–18 reporting period, the Classification Board received 249 complaints, an increase of 45% when compared with the previous period. A breakdown of complaints by category is as follows:

  • No complaints about decisions for publications
  • 169 complaints about decisions for films
  • 79 complaints about decisions for computer games
  • 1 general complaint about a film that has not been submitted for classification.

Some titles received several complaints and other titles only received a single complaint.

The overall increase in the number of complaints can largely be explained by the increased number of complaints received concerning decisions for one film and one computer game, which attracted a total of 194 complaints. Without these complaints, the Board only received 56 complaints during the reporting period about all other classification decisions.

Films

The Classification Board received 169 complaints about the classifications of films, of which 118 were for the theatrical release film, Show Dogs. There was no other film in the previous reporting year that attracted the same level of public comment. Accordingly, the number of complaints received this year is significantly higher than the 100 complaints received in 2016–17. The next most complained about film was the Australian adaptation of the Tim Winton novel, Breath, which received 10 complaints.

The complaints about Show Dogs arose out of social media commentary that a scene or two may cause offence to some viewers, who were of the opinion that the touching of a dog character’s genitals, and the accompanying dialogue, may promote acceptance of grooming of children for sexual exploitation. There was no suggestion in the film that the dog was a metaphor for a child.

The people who complained about the film Breath (classified M with consumer advice of “mature themes, sex scenes and coarse language”), believed that the film’s classification was too low, owing to an auto-erotic asphyxiation sex scene and that in their opinion, the film required legal restriction to people aged 15 years and over.

The remainder of the complaints were about a small number of titles, mostly theatrical release films.

Computer games

The Classification Board received 79 complaints about computer games, of which 76 were about We Happy Few being Refused Classification (RC). The Board was of the view that the content of this game exceeded the R 18+ classification, as per the Computer Games Guidelines which state that: “Drug use related to incentives or rewards is not permitted.” The complainants believed that the RC classification for the game was too high. This decision was reviewed by the Classification Review Board on 3 July 2018. More information about this decision can be found here. www.classification.gov.au/About/Pages/review-board-decisions-2018.aspx.

Enquiries and other assistance

The department responded to a range of other enquiries including, how to get content classified, how to obtain exemptions from classification, and requests for information on the determined markings for films and computer games. There were a number of requests about the importation of publications, films and computer games, and the classification of music albums.

Classification Review Board Annual Report 2017–18

Convenor’s letter of transmittal

Australian Government Classification Review Board Logo 

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield MP
Minister for Communications and the Arts
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with subsection 85(1) of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, I am pleased to submit a report on the management of the administrative affairs of the Classification Review Board for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Yours sincerely

Signature of Fional Jolly
Fiona Jolly
Convenor

14 September 2018

Locked Bag 3, HAYMARKET NSW 1240
Telephone 02 9289 7100 Facsimile 02 9289 7101 www.classification.gov.au

Introduction

The Classification Review Board is an independent statutory body that reviews, on application, decisions of the Classification Board. The Review Board makes its decisions in accordance with the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (the Classification Act), the National Classification Code (the Code) and the classification guidelines.

This report includes an overview of the work of the Review Board in 2017–18.

The Review Board received secretariat support from the Classification Branch.

Convenor’s overview

Convenor’s overview

Photo of Fiona Jolly 

The Classification Review Board is an important independent mechanism for community and industry where there is disagreement about the appropriate classification of films, computer games and publications.

During the 2017–18 reporting period, the Review Board received three applications for review. These applications were for the films, Jigsaw and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, and the computer game, We Happy Few.

The classification of Jigsaw was reviewed on 20 October 2017. StudioCanal Pty Limited applied for the review. The Review Board unanimously classified the film MA 15+ with consumer advice of “Strong themes and strong horror violence”.

On 20 November 2017, the Review Board convened to review the film The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. The application was submitted by Roadshow Films Pty Ltd. The Review Board unanimously classified the film G, with the consumer advice “Some scenes may scare young children”.

On 26 June 2018, the Review Board received an application for review of the classification decision for the computer game, We Happy Few. The Review Board’s decision was not made in this reporting period.

I would like to thank the Review Board members for their professionalism and willingness to convene at short notice during 2017–18.

I would also like to thank members of the Classification Branch who have provided secretariat support and valuable advice to the Review Board and its members over the past year.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Margaret Anderson on her appointment as Director of the Classification Board.

Fiona Jolly
Convenor

Classification Review Board profiles

Current Review Board members

Photo of Fiona Jolly 

Fiona Jolly

Convenor
APPOINTED: 7 December 2011
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 2 January 2019

Ms Fiona Jolly, 50, resides in Wamboin NSW and works in the ACT. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Advertising Standards Bureau and previously held numerous positions with a number of Australian Government agencies. Ms Jolly has also held positions on numerous Boards including as Chair of Australian Business Volunteers, the Ministerial Advisory Council for Women (ACT), Majura Primary School Board and as National President of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Australia.

Ms Jolly holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (ANU) and a Master of Laws (Melb). She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms Jolly is the parent of four children aged 10 to 18 years and has been actively involved in her local community through her children’s school and sporting commitments as well her volunteer work with the YWCA over a period of 20 years.

Photo fo Susan Knowles 

Susan Knowles

Deputy Convenor
APPOINTED: 1 July 2015
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 17 September 2020

Ms Susan (Sue) Knowles, 67, resides in Perth, Western Australia. Ms Knowles retired as a Senator for Western Australia in the Australian Federal Parliament after 21 years of public service. During her career in the Parliament, Ms Knowles held a variety of positions including Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate. Ms Knowles also served on many Senate committees and inquiries including as chairman of the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee dealing with health care, aged care, Aboriginal health, welfare and other related matters. She was also a member of the Senate inquiries into British Child Migrants in Institutional Care and Australian Children in Institutional Care.

Ms Knowles is currently a member of the Advertising Standards Community Panel and chair of the Council of Owners for Seashells Resorts in Broome and Mandurah. She is actively involved in the local community by way of volunteer work with the St John of God Hospital and is a member and patron of several local sporting clubs.

Photo of Peter Attard 

Peter Attard

APPOINTED: 7 December 2011
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 2 January 2019

Mr Peter Attard, 50, lives on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. He is currently the Event Manager for Mental Health Victoria, and has been the director of two retail businesses as well as managing a variety of hospitality, community culture/arts projects, ventures and events.

He has created and taught media, visual literacy, visual arts and photography subjects in both secondary and TAFE education, as well as serving as coordinator of these studies at various colleges in Victoria.

Mr Attard has been a committee member of the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM), judged ATOM student film awards and is a member of the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

Mr Attard holds a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts) from the University of Melbourne. He actively pursues his passions of art, film appreciation, music, AFL and travel.

Photo of Peter Price 

Peter Price

APPOINTED: 7 December 2014
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 17 September 2019

Mr Peter Price AM, 53, resides in Sydney, NSW and is an advertising and communications professional with over 25 years’ experience in multi-national agencies in Johannesburg, London and Sydney. He is currently the Managing Director of First Light, an advertising agency he founded in 1994 as well as part-time CEO of Crime Stoppers in NSW and Director of Corporate Communications for Crime Stoppers Australia.

His experiences as a victim of multiple crimes in South Africa helped steer him in the direction of violence prevention and law enforcement advocacy. Mr Price has been closely involved with the development of Crime Stoppers. Mr Price has been a Director of Crime Stoppers since 1999 and has served as Chairman for five years and as Deputy Chairman for six years. He has also served as CEO of Crime Stoppers NSW since 2008 and Vice President of Crime Stoppers International 2012–2017.

In 2009, Mr Price was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to community safety through executive roles with Crime Stoppers. In 2017, Mr Price was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to community safety as an advocate for law enforcement and crime prevention programs. Mr Price was also a Board Director of the Internet Industry Association from 2011 to 2014. He holds a diploma in marketing management and is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Photo of Richard Williams 

Richard Williams

APPOINTED: 1 July 2015
APPOINTMENT EXPIRES: 17 September 2019

Mr Richard Williams resides in Brisbane.

His career history encompasses both state and Commonwealth government positions including Director of Strategic Planning for Queensland’s Emergency Services Department, Director of Facilities and Services for Education Queensland and First Assistant Secretary with the former Commonwealth agency, Australian Estate Management.

Mr Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Town Planning. He has also had a long association with Volunteering Queensland and Volunteering Australia in a variety of positions together with service as a member of the Fathers’ Executive of Brisbane Girls’ Grammar.

Legislative base

The Classification Review Board is established under the Classification Act. The Classification Act provides that the Review Board is to consist of a Convenor, a Deputy Convenor and at least three, but no more than eight, other members.

The Governor-General appoints members of the Review Board. Under the Classification Act, the Minister must, before recommending an appointment, consult with state and territory ministers with responsibility for classification. The Classification Act also requires that regard is had to the desirability of ensuring that membership of the Review Board is broadly representative of the Australian community.

Decisions of the Review Board

In the reporting period, the Review Board conducted two reviews. The reviews were completed within the statutory timeframe.

Reports for the Review Board’s decisions are published on the classification website at www.classification.gov.au/About/Pages/review-board-decisions.aspx.

Table 12: Decisions of the Review Board

Title

Media

Review applicant

Date of review decision

Original classification

Review classification

Jigsaw

Film

StudioCanal Pty Limited

20 October 2017

R 18+

MA 15+

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Film

Roadshow Films Pty Ltd

20 November 2017

PG

G

Attendance at Review Board meetings

The Review Board convened for two days in 2017–18 to deal with two separate applications.

Table 13: Attendance at Review Board meetings

Review Board member

Meetings 2017–18

Meeting days attended 2017–18

Fiona Jolly, Convenor, ACT

2

2

Susan Knowles, Deputy Convenor, WA

1

1

Peter Attard, VIC

1

1

Peter Price, NSW

1

1

Richard Williams, QLD

1

1

Complaints

The Review Board received one complaint about its decisions in the reporting period. The complainant expressed the opinion that the classification for the film The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature was too low.

Judicial decisions

Aspects of a Review Board decision can be reviewed, on application, by the Federal Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth).

In the reporting period, no application for review of the Review Board’s decisions was lodged with the Federal Court.

Appendices

Appendix: National Classification Code

National Classification Code

1. Classification decisions are to give effect, as far as possible, to the following principles:

a) adults should be able to read, hear, see and play what they want;

b) minors should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them;

c) everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material that they find offensive;

d) the need to take account of community concerns about:

i) depictions that condone or incite violence, particularly sexual violence; and

ii) the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner.

Publications

Publications are to be classified in accordance with the following table:

Item

Description of publication

Classification

1

Publications that:

a)describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or

b)describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or

c)promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence

RC

2

Publications (except RC publications) that:

a)explicitly depict sexual or sexually related activity between consenting adults in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or

b)depict, describe or express revolting or abhorrent phenomena in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult and are unsuitable for a minor to see or read

Category 2 restricted

3

Publications (except RC publications and Category 2 restricted publications) that:

a)explicitly depict nudity, or describe or impliedly depict sexual or sexually related activity between consenting adults, in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or

b)describe or express in detail violence or sexual activity between consenting adults in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or

c)are unsuitable for a minor to see or read

Category 1 restricted

4

All other publications

Unrestricted

Films

Films are to be classified in accordance with the following table:

Item

Description of film

Classification

1

Films that:

a)depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or

b)describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or

c)promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence

RC

2

Films (except RC films) that:

a)contain real depictions of actual sexual activity between consenting adults in which there is no violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence, coercion, sexually assaultive language, or fetishes or depictions which purposefully demean anyone involved in that activity for the enjoyment of viewers, in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; and

b)are unsuitable for a minor to see

X 18+

3

Films (except RC films and X 18+ films) that are unsuitable for a minor to see

R 18+

4

Films (except RC films, X 18+ films and R 18+ films) that depict, express or otherwise deal with sex, violence or coarse language in such a manner as to be unsuitable for viewing by persons under 15

MA 15+

5

Films (except RC films, X 18+ films, R 18+ films and MA 15+ films) that cannot be recommended for viewing by persons who are under 15

M

6

Films (except RC films, X 18+ films, R 18+ films, MA 15+ films and M films) that cannot be recommended for viewing by persons who are under 15 without the guidance of their parents or guardians

PG

7

All other films

G

Computer games

Computer games are to be classified in accordance with the following table:

Item

Description of computer game

Classification

1

Computer games that:

a)depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or

b)describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or

c)promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence

RC

2

Computer games (except RC computer games) that are unsuitable for viewing or playing by a minor

R 18+

3

Computer games (except RC and R 18+ computer games) that depict, express or otherwise deal with sex, violence or coarse language in such a manner as to be unsuitable for viewing or playing by persons under 15

MA 15+

4

Computer games (except RC, R 18+ and MA 15+ computer games) that cannot be recommended for viewing or playing by persons who are under 15

M

5

Computer games (except RC, R 18+, MA 15+ and M computer games) that cannot be recommended for viewing or playing by persons who are under 15 without the guidance of their parents or guardians

PG

6

All other computer games

G

Glossary

Term/abbreviation

Explanation

AACG Scheme

Authorised Assessor Computer Games

ACA Scheme

Additional Content Assessor Scheme

Advertising Scheme

The Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme

APS

Australian Public Service

ATSA Scheme

Authorised Television Series Assessor Scheme

BSA

Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth)

Call in

The Director of the Classification Board may call in a publication if he/she has reasonable grounds to believe it is a submittable publication and that it is being published in an Australian state or territory. The Director of the Classification Board may also call in a film or computer game if he/she has reasonable grounds to believe it is not exempt and that it is being published in an Australian state or territory

Classification Act

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth)

Classification Board

Statutory body established under the Classification Act. The Classification Board classifies computer games, films and certain publications

Classification Board member

A statutory appointee to the Classification Board established under the Classification Act

Classification Branch

The Classification Branch of the Department of Communications and the Arts. The Classification Branch provides administrative support to the Classification Board and Classification Review Board

Classification guidelines

See Guidelines

Classification Review Board

Statutory body established under the Classification Act. The Classification Review Board is a part-time statutory body convened, as required, to review decisions made by the Classification Board

Classification Review Board member

Statutory appointee to the Classification Review Board under the Classification Act

Code, the

The National Classification Code

Computer games classifications

G

PG

M

MA 15+

R 18+

RC

General (advisory category)

Parental Guidance (advisory category)

Mature (advisory category)

Mature Accompanied (legally restricted category)

Restricted (legally restricted category)

Refused Classification

Consumer advice

The Classification Board and Classification Review Board determine consumer advice for films, computer games and certain publications. Films classified G, PG, M, MA 15+, R 18+ and X 18+, and computer games classified G, PG, M, MA 15+ and R 18+, must be assigned consumer advice. Consumer advice generally gives information about the content of the film or game, the principal elements that contributed to the classification of the content and indicates the intensity and/or frequency of those elements. The Classification Board and the Classification Review Board may also provide consumer advice to publications classified Unrestricted

Convenor

Member of the Classification Review Board who is responsible for the management of the Classification Review Board’s business

Deputy Convenor

Member of the Classification Review Board who may exercise some of the Convenor’s powers in the Convenor’s absence

Deputy Director

Full-time member of the Classification Board who is the operational manager of that Board and who may exercise some of the Director’s powers in the Director’s absence

Determined markings

Classification symbols and descriptions and, as set out in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Markings and Consumer Advice) Determination 2014

Director

Full-time member of the Classification Board responsible for the management of the Classification Board

eSafety Commissioner

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is committed to empowering all Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online. The Office was established in 2015 with a mandate to coordinate and lead the online safety efforts across government, industry and the not-for-profit community

Exempt film

A film exempt from classification requirements as defined by section 6B of the Classification Act

Fee waiver

The waiving of classification application fees in specific circumstances, as provided by the Classification Act

Film classifications

G

PG

M

MA 15+

R 18+

X 18+


RC

General (advisory category)

Parental Guidance (advisory category)

Mature (advisory category)

Mature Accompanied (legally restricted category)

Restricted (legally restricted category)

Restricted to 18 years and over (contains consensual sexually explicit activity)

Refused Classification

FOI Act

Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)

FOI

Freedom of Information

Guidelines

Under the Classification Act (section 12) the Minister may, with the agreement of each state and territory, determine guidelines to assist the Board in applying the criteria in the Code. There are separate guidelines for the classification of films, computer games, and publications which may be viewed online at www.legislation.gov.au

Industry assessors

Persons authorised by the Director to make recommendations to the Classification Board on the classification and consumer advice for the ACA Scheme, ATSA Scheme and the AACG Scheme. Also persons authorised to assess the likely classification of unclassified films and computer games under the Advertising Scheme

National Classification Scheme
(the Scheme)

A co-operative Commonwealth, state and territory regulatory scheme for classification of films, computer games and certain publications

National Classification Code (the Code)

A code that sets out how films, computer games and certain publications are to be classified

Prohibited Exports Regulations

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (Cth); Regulation 3 relates to the exportation of “objectionable goods” (including computer games, computer generated images, films, interactive games and publications)

Prohibited Imports Regulations

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (Cth); Regulation 4A relates to the importation of “objectionable goods” (including computer games, computer generated images, films, interactive games and publications)

Publications classifications

Unrestricted

Category 1 restricted

Category 2 restricted

RC

Unrestricted

Not available to persons under 18 years

Not available to persons under 18 years.

Refused Classification

Serial classification declaration

A declaration issued by the Classification Board on the classification, and any conditions that apply, to issues of a publication periodical for a specified period

Submittable publication

An unclassified publication that is unsuitable for a minor to see or read, and likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult to the extent that the publication should not be sold or displayed as an unrestricted publication

Index

5 Headed Shark Attack, 48

A

Additional Content Assessor (ACA) Scheme, 6, 38

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth), 77

The Adventure Pals, 53

advertising approvals, 39

advertising assessments, 39

Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme, 6–7

Agony, 59

An American in Paris the Musical, 44

Anderson, Margaret, 18–23, 24, 73

Anti Matter, 46

Approved Cultural Institutions (ACIs), 5–6

Ashton, Emma, 28

Assassin’s Creed Origins, 57

Assessor schemes, 6

Atomega, 55

Attard, Peter, 75

Auditor-General reports, 14

Authorised Assessor Scheme for Computer Games (AACG), 6, 38

Authorised Television Series Assessor (ATSA) Scheme, 6, 38

Axiom Verge, 54

B

Bad Genius, 46

Bailaras, 44

Barbie Dolphin Magic, 43

Batman and Harley Quinn, 46

Battlezone, 54

Beat Bugs, 43

Bickerstaff, Alison, 23, 25

Black Panther, 46

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, 55

Blue Reflection, 60

Border Politics, 44

Breath, 23, 46, 67

Brief Battles, 53

Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA), 7

Brotherhood of Blades II: the Infernal Battlefield, 48

Burke, Jenny, 28

C

call ins, 39

Call Me by Your Name, 48

Carlo J. Caparas’ Ang Panday, 47

Carr, Damien, 30

Castaway Paradise, 53

The Changeover, 47–8

Chappaquiddick, 46

Chasing Comets, 44

‘Check the Classification’ (‘CTC’), 6–7

Classification (Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme) Determination 2009, 6, 39

Classification Board

accountability, 12

acknowledgements, 22–3

administrative arrangements, 11–12

code of conduct, 12

complaints, 67–8

correspondence, 67–8

decisions, 35

Deputy Director, 7, 10, 23, 24, 25

Director, 5, 7, 10, 18–23

documents, 13

establishment, 4, 10, 18

ethical standards, 12

events, 20–1

external accountability, 12

financial management, 11

liaison with Department of Communications and the Arts, 11

media releases, 21

meetings, 11

member profiles, 24–27

membership, 10, 12–13

other functions, 5

privacy, 14

reporting, 11–12

risk management, 12

stakeholder liaison, 11

statistics, 34–41

temporary members, 28–32

visitors, 20

workload, 34–5

Classification Guidelines, 4, 5, 71

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth), 4–5, 18, 71

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Films) Instrument 2015, 14

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Regulations 2005, 11

classification reform, 21–2

Classification Review Board

accountability, 12

administrative arrangements, 11–12

complaints, 77

Convenor, 10–11, 73

decisions, 76–7

documents, 13

establishment, 4, 10, 71, 76

ethical standards, 12

external accountability, 12

financial management, 11

judicial review of decisions, 77

legislative base, 76

liaison with Department of Communications and the Arts, 11

meetings, 11, 77

member profiles, 74–6

membership, 12–13, 76

privacy, 14

reporting, 11–12

risk management, 12

secretariat support, 71, 73

stakeholder liaison, 11

classification tools, 40

Cocaine Godmother, 48

Coco, 44

The Coma Recut, 56

Come Together, 43

‘commensurate audience’ rule, 7

complaints, 67–8, 77

computer games

classification, 20, 38, 52–3, 83

complaints, 68

G classification, 38, 53, 83

Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2012, 20, 52

M classification, 38, 55–7, 83

MA 15+ classification , 38, 57–8, 83

PG classification, 38, 54–5, 83

public exhibition classification, 37

R 18+ classification, 38, 59–61, 83

RC classification, 38–9, 61–2, 83

sale/hire classification, 37–8

Conditional Cultural Exemption Rules, 5–6

correspondence, 67–8

The Council, 20

Crayola Scoot, 53

Crimes Act 1914, 12

Crossing Souls, 55

Cult of Chucky, 50

Curvature, 46

Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958, 7

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, 7

D

Daddy’s Home Two, 45

Dance with Devils, 48

Dark Souls: Remastered, 57

Darkest Dungeon, 55

David Attenborough’s Tasmania, 43

De Plus Belle, 46

Dead Hands Dig Deep, 50

Death Race: Beyond Anarchy, 48

Death Wish, 50

Deep Blue Sea 2, 50

Deer Hunter Reloaded, 55

Defiant Lives, 45

Delezio, Ron, 25

Delta Goodrem: Wings of the Wild, 43

Demon Gaze II, 55

Department of Communications and the Arts, 1, 11

Destiny 2, 55

Detective Pikachu, 53

Detroit, 48

Detroit Become Human, 57

digital footprint, 18

Digital in 2018 in Oceania, 18

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, 57

Do Women Have a Higher Sex Drive?, 50

Dominion, 50

Doom VFR, 59

Downsizing, 46

Dynasty Warriors 9, 55

E

EA Sports UFC 3, 58

Early Man, 45

enforcement agencies, 41

The Evil Within 2, 60

F

Ferdinand, 43

films

advertising assessments, 39

classification, 37–8, 82

complaints, 67

G classification, 37, 38, 43–4, 82

Guidelines for the Classification of Films 2012, 43

M classification, 37, 38, 46–8, 82

MA 15+ classification , 37, 38, 48–50, 82

PG classification, 37, 38, 44–6, 82

public exhibition classification, 37

R 18+ classification, 37, 38, 50–1, 82

RC classification, 37, 38, 52, 82

sale/hire classification, 37–8

X 18+ classification, 37, 38, 51–2, 82

The Final Year, 46–7

Fire Pro Wrestling World, 55

Flea Market Games Box, 56

Flip Flappers Complete Series, 45

Fortitude: The Complete Second Season, 51

Fowler, Jenny, 29

Frazer, Tony, 22

freedom of information, 13

Freedom of Information Act 1982, 12, 13

From the Ashes, 45

G

Gal*Gun 2, 59

Garrett, Wayne, 29–30

Grey’s Anatomy Season 13, 49

Gunpowder, 48

H

Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis, 50

Hennessy, Adam, 31

Hero Defense, 55

The Heroin Diaries: 10 Years Later, 45–6

The Hitman’s Bodyguard, 48

Hubble, Felix, 29

Humphreys, Andrew, 29

The Hunter’s Prayer, 50

I

I, Tonya, 49

Illusion A Tale of the Mind Episode 1, 54

Intergovernmental Agreement on Censorship, 4

International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) tool, 22, 40

internet content, 7, 41, 65

Isle of Dogs, 45

Ismael’s Ghosts, 48

J

The Jackbox Party Pack 4, 57

Jane the Virgin Season 4, 46

JFK Declassified, 46

Jigsaw, 73

Joanna Lumley’s Japan, 45

Jolly, Fiona, 73, 74

Journey’s End, 46

judicial review, 77

Jurassic World, 21

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 21

Justice League, 46

K

Kalakalappu 2, 47

Kangaroo A Love-Hate Story, 48

King of the Dancehall, 48

Kingdom Come Deliverance, 59

Knowles, Susan, 74

L

L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, 57

Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk, 59

L’Amante Double, 50

Laser League, 54

Last of the Elephant Man, 45

Lawrence Mooney: Moonman, 49

Le Redoutable, 50

Le Tour De France 2018, 53

The League of Gentlemen Anniversary Specials, 46

Leatherface, 51

Leske, Michael, 30

Lie Love Intelligence Enmity, 48

Lipstick Under My Burkha, 48–9

M

MacMaster, Mathew, 31

Maleficent, 21

Mann, Thomas, 26

Mario Tennis Aces, 53

The Maze Runner, 21

Members Only, 50

A Mermaid’s Tale, 43

Milanoir, 55

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, 21

modified film classification, 14

Monster Family, 45

Moonlighter, 54

Mother!, 23

The Mountain Between Us, 46

Mowgli, 21

Mummy, I’m a Zombie, 19

The Music of Silence, 45

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, 43

N

National Classification Code, 4, 5, 21, 71, 80

National Classification Database (NCD), 12

National Classification Scheme, 4, 14, 18

Netflix classification tool, 18–19, 40

Nixon, Ellenor, 27

Normandie Nue (Normandy Nude), 47

Northern Territory

classification legislation, 5

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, 4

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, 73, 77

O

Octonauts: Octo-Glow Adventures, 43

Octopath Traveler, 55

Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 7, 65

Oh My Godheads, 54

Ombudsman, Commonwealth, 14

Ombudsman Act 1976, 12

Omega Labyrinth Z 61

online training modules, 21

Orange is the New Black Season 5, 19

Out of Ammo, 55

Owlboy, 54

P

Pad Man, 45

Paddington 2, 44

Papers, Please, 55

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, 45

Pechovska, Lora, 31

People, 64

The Picture, 64

The Pirates of Somalia, 48

Pitching Love and Catching Faith, 45

Pixark, 56

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: The Ultimate Life & Death Fight, 57

Price, Peter, 75

Privacy Act 1988, 12, 14

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, 48

prohibited imports and exports, 7

publications

category 1 restricted, 36, 64, 81

category 2 restricted, 36, 64, 81

classification, 19, 36–7, 63–5, 81

contracting market, 19

RC refused classification, 36, 65, 81

serial classification declaration, 19, 36–7, 65

“submittable publications”, 63

unrestricted, 36, 63–4, 81

Pure Farming 2018, 53

Puzzle Fighter, 54

Q

Quake Champions, 57

R

Randall, Greg, 30

Realms of Arkania: Star Trail, 54

Red Sparrow, 23

The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth, 46

reform, 21–2

Remothered: Tormented Fathers, 57

revocations, 39

Richards, Raphael, 31

Rise of the Footsoldier the Pat Tate Story, 50

The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking, 49

Rushton, Jarrah, 26

S

Score, 64

Scribblenauts Showdown, 54

Sesame Street: Sing it, Elmo!, 43

Show Dogs, 21, 45, 67

SIMO tool see International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) tool

Skyforge, 55

Solo: A Star Wars Story, 21

South Australia

classification legislation, 5

South Park: The Fractured But Whole, 59

Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition, 57

Star Wars: Battlefront II, 55

State of Mind, 57

states and territories

classification legislation, 5

Steamworld Dig 2, 54

The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, 46

Straight on Till Morning, 46

Strassman’s iTedE, 46

Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection, 55

Stunt Corgi, 53

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, 48

Super Mario Odyssey, 21

The Survivalist, 51

Sushi Striker: The Way of the Sushido, 54

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, 55

T

Tasmania

classification legislation, 5

A Taxi Driver, 46

Testrol Es Lelekrol (On Body and Soul), 50–1

Thor Ragnarok, 21

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, 48

time limits for decisions, 34

Tin Star, 49–50

Tokyo Dark, 58

Tom of Finland, 21, 51

Toofan Singh, 50

Tracking Oswald, 46

TT Isle of Man, 53

U

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, 57

unclassified content

advertising, 6

exemptions to show, 5–6, 40–1

Unravel 2, 53

V

Velaiilla Pattadhari 2, 46

Victoria & Abdul, 45

Vitamania: The Sense and Nonsense of Vitamins, 43

The Void, 50

Voluptuous, 64

The Von Trapp Family – A Life of Music, 45

W

The Walking Dead, 49

Warhammer: Vermintide 2, 57

We Happy Few, 20, 21, 61, 62, 68, 73

We Sing Pop!, 54

website, 1, 12, 13

Williams, Richard, 76

Wilson-O’Connor, Leanne, 22, 32

Wish For Christmas, 43

Woody Woodpecker, 45

World of Warriors, 54

WWE: Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2017, 46

Y

Yakuza Kiwami 2, 59

Yoku’s Island Express, 53

You Rate It, 22