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New Classification Guideline

27 July 1999

Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers with classification responsibilities have agreed upon revised guidelines for the classification of publications that may be unsuitable for children.

The criteria applying to the 'Unrestricted' category and for public display have been tightened to ensure that children are adequately protected from exposure to unsuitable material which may be disturbing or harmful to them.

The guidelines also protect adults from unsolicited exposure to material.

The Ministers have also agreed to introduce a scheme to provide consumer advice on the covers of publications which are not recommended as suitable for children under 15 but which do not warrant restriction to adults only.

The new guidelines will come into effect on 1 September 1999.

The new guidelines set out detailed criteria relating to violence, sex, nudity, coarse language, adult themes and drug use for each of the classification categories and for public display.

The guidelines are available on the Office of Film and Literature Classification website at

The revision of publications guidelines follows an extensive review of existing guidelines which began in late 1997 and included public and industry consultation.
Public submissions and draft revisions were assessed by independent academic experts.

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