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General.
General
Suitable for everyone.
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Parental Guidance.
Parental Guidance
Not recommended for children under 15; may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting.
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Mature.
Mature
Not recommended for children under 15; may include moderate levels of violence, language or themes.
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Mature Audiences.
Mature Audiences
Restricted - unsuitable for persons under 15; may contain strong content.
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Restricted (R).
Restricted (R)
Restricted to adults.
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Restricted (X).
Restricted (X)
Restricted to adults – contains sexually explicit content.
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Classification compliance information.
How it all works
How it all works
How it all works.

National Classification Scheme

National Classification Scheme

What is the National Classification Scheme?

The National Classification Scheme is a cooperative arrangement between the Australian Government and the state and territory governments where the Classification Board classify films, computer games and certain publications.

The National Classification Scheme commenced on 1 January 1996 following recommendations made by the Australian Australia Law Reform Commission about censorship procedure (see 1991 Report No. 55). One of the recommendations was to establish a legislative framework for the Commonwealth, states and territories to take a national approach to classification. The Commonwealth, states and territories entered into the Intergovernmental Agreement on Censorship to underpin the scheme.

The Standing Council on Law and Justice

The National Classification Scheme is overseen by ministers from the Commonwealth, states and territories. Ministers meet twice a year as part of the Standing Council on Law and Justice to discuss the operation of the scheme, its legislation and other issues such as topical research and guidelines reviews. Ministers with responsibility for classification matters are not involved in Classification Board decisions.

The role of the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Classification Act 1995 establishes the Classification Board and sets out the procedures to be followed in making decisions. The Act also establishes the Classification Review Board, which can review decisions made by the Classification Board.

Commonwealth classification policy and operation is the responsibility of the Attorney-General’s Department.

The role of the states and territories

Under the National Classification Scheme, the states and territories are responsible for enforcing classification decisions. Each state and territory government has classification enforcement legislation to complement the Commonwealth Classification Act. Enforcement legislation sets out how films, publications and computer games can be sold, hired, exhibited, advertised and demonstrated.

Some states and territories have reserved censorship powers and varying classification requirements which are outlined in their legislation.

For example, as part of the Australian Government’s Northern Territory National Emergency Response, the Commonwealth Classification Act makes it an offence to possess or control prohibited material within prohibited prescribed areas in the Northern Territory and to supply prohibited material into these areas.

State and territory ministers with responsibility for classification matters

The Minister with responsibility for classification matters is usually the Attorney-General for each state or territory.