10 September 2015

From today new classification rules will streamline application processes for cultural institutions, film festivals and computer game expos to show unclassified films, computer games or publications.

Under the changes organisers of festivals, special events and cultural institutions, which may include art galleries and museums, will no longer have to apply for permission from the Director of the Classification Board to show Instead, event operators will now register the details of their events online and will self-assess unclassified material in their programme to decide whether it needs to be restricted to adults or is suitable for a broader audience.

The previous film festival scheme was complex and required event organisers to apply for exemptions from classification for each event. This made it difficult for organisers to screen late entries, amend event programmes or to add or change venues.

Consistent with the Government's deregulation agenda, this reform provides a faster and simpler process for the arts sector to ensure the Australian community can continue to access to a broad range of unique and diverse content through film festivals and gaming expos.

Safeguards remain in place to ensure that material that would likely be classified ‘Refused Classification’ cannot generally be shown. Event organisers will also be responsible for protecting children from exposure to age-inappropriate material.

These reforms follow changes which commenced in July that simplified the classification requirements for films and computer games that are modified, enabling faster delivery of content updates to the market.

Today's announcement completes the first tranche of reforms made by the Government last year to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 to help develop a more streamlined classification system.

More information about the changes to classification.

Read the full Cutting red tape for the arts sector media release.