The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today backed the call of a Federal Parliamentary inquiry into youth violence for a review of film and TV classification categories, saying the classification system is out-of-touch with community standards and needs a major overhaul.

ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton welcomed the Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth’s recognition of the contribution violence in the media is making to youth violence, although he said it was disappointing that greater inroads weren’t made by the inquiry into tackling the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on Australia’s young people.

“The committee’s recommendation on classification issues adds to the rising tide of concern over Australia’s classification system, which has effectively become a toothless tiger in safeguarding the community from an onslaught of sex and violence on our television screens, in our films, and in video games.

“There are very serious concerns over the effect the media environment is having in terms of sexualising young people and contributing to growing levels of youth violence,” Mr Shelton said.

“However we are well past the stage of tinkering around the edges. The classification system is broken and is in need of a complete overhaul.

“Stronger government regulation should be a priority – putting an end to a situation where the commercial interests of the media industry are being put ahead of the best interests of children.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.