The Australian Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs is holding an inquiry into the Australian Film and Literature Classification Scheme (which rates publications, films, Internet content and computer games). There have been lots of these inquiries, including a current po-faced review of whether the Federal Government needs to classify billboards. The issues over R-18 computer games have been recently reviewed, and to the horror of the thousands who urged the Government to allow adult-rated computer games, reform seems distant and delayed.
EFA has consistently said that the Australian classification scheme never suited the Internet, and in response to the many terms of reference of this Inquiry, have focused in our submission on the need for fundamental reform of the Australian mandatory classification scheme.
The EFA Submission is now online, along with a number of submissions from other individuals and groups. While it's easy to be cynical about these inquiries, given the current censorious climate, the inquiry is an opportunity to comment and put some contrary opinion on the public record.
For the first time, there is a momentum to dismantle Government-mandated classifications and the clunky attempts to make media types and the Internet compatible for censorship purposes.
I'd like to hear from an EFA research volunteer or interested member of the public who has time and dedication to work through the submissions and chart the position statements of the submissions. This will help EFA cover the debate across all of the Inquiry's terms of reference and if granted a chance to address the Senate.
Comments and crowd wisdom welcome.
Kimberley Heitman, EFA Secretary
13th March 2011