(From an opinion piece published on ABC Online).

Before it came along, we were served by a revolving series of moral panics, changing censorship ministers and a patchwork of different state systems. Many books and films were banned that today would hardly warrant a mention - I wonder how many high schools would not allow "The Trial of Lady Chatterley" a place in their libraries? In the sordid history of censorship in Australia, the creation of a national system under the Hawke government in 1984 at least gave us something that was uniform and understandable, and led to a slight loosening of a system that was much more puritanical than the citizens it served.

Our classification code has done its duty for these last 30 years or so. As a reward, it deserves to be given a nice cup of hot chocolate, and wheeled outside to enjoy the sunshine of its retirement.

Recent debates over the classification of computer games and internet content have revolved around the edges of the classification scheme - what content goes into which rating. But these sorts of debates are missing the bigger picture. The future of classification itself must now be doubted.

Continue reading over at the ABC.


  1. I agree with what you have said, I do however think you have a problem with delineating between Classification and Censorship, which is exactly what the Government intended, And, I expect I would also have similar problems.

    The self classification idea has merit. Robbie Swann made a similar suggestion a couple of months ago, it's a pity his party doesn't have such a Policy and actually intends to increase censorship.

    It seems increasingly self evident, especially with the up coming review of the current censorship system, that in order to move away from censorship to to a genuine classification system a major step will be abolishing the RC classification. And, that it will be important that various groups lobby heavily for the abolishion of the RC classification.

    Comment by Womp on 27 January 2011 at 00:07
  2. I agree Colin - the Commonwealth (generally, the States) rely on classification to enforce censorship upon the adult elector population. This should not be the situation.

    Classification should be regulated so that blanket media censorship is not imposed on upon any adult elector. Classification should be directed as consumer advice for adults who are responsible for consumers that are determined to be a child; sanctions should apply to any adult who intentionally exposes any child to content classified as unsuitable for a child.
    Any adult should not be accountable for consuming(wilfully, or un-willingly) content that is not determined to be unlawful via the Crimes Act/Criminal Code of any state or Commonwealth law of Australia.

    Comment by Classwarfare on 2 February 2011 at 03:51
  3. If the OFLC censors aren't pedos, how do they determine whether an 18-year-old porn star "looks" too young?

    Comment by LKY on 30 April 2011 at 07:45