ACMA Contemporary community safeguards inquiry

From the ACMA:  The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced the commencement of the ‘Contemporary community safeguards inquiry’.

The inquiry will focus on the need for broadcasting standards to remain in line with changing community expectations.  The ACMA is seeking to to explore and establish the core principles that should guide the content of contemporary broadcasting codes of practice.

The inquiry will:

1) Examine the matters and community safeguards that should be appropriately addressed in program-related codes of practice developed by Australian broadcasters, having regard to:

  • community experiences and expectations
  • changes to broadcasting technologies and business models

with a view to consolidating ACMA insights and developing guidance for broadcasters on such matters and community safeguards.

2) Where appropriate, consider any related issues that become apparent in the course of the inquiry.

The ACMA does not propose, as part of this inquiry, to examine the Children’s Television Standards or the Australian Content Standard— save to the extent that these interact with codes of practice.


The ACMA has detailed the following policy for submissions to the inquiry:

The ACMA will adopt an evidence-informed approach to examining what constitutes appropriate community safeguards, including canvassing the views of industry and citizens. Accordingly, we welcome your input at any of the key consultation stages set out below.

1) The ACMA will be releasing an issues paper by the end of June and will be seeking submissions from all interested stakeholders.

The ACMA’s own research and regulatory experience, and recent relevant work conducted by other agencies and stakeholders, provide a solid body of information about community values and expectations. The issues paper will build on this framework and our starting point will be to identify those areas that would benefit from additional input and discussion.

The issues paper will pose a series of questions or propositions that may help an interested stakeholder to structure their contribution.

2) As a key part of its consultation, the ACMA will convene a series of Citizens conversations to seek input from the community and industry. These conversations will be about practical problems in the broadcasting media, in areas such as:

  • factual accuracy
  • balance and fairness
  • privacy
  • classification and community standards for decency and advertising.

We expect both the industry and citizens to express valuable perspectives during these forums.

3) A draft final report will be issued for consultation in the second half of this year.

You can read more about the inquiry and make submissions here.

Contact Matthew Nicholls (ph: +61 3 8376 7131) to discuss your requirements.