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BROADCASTING SERVICES ACT 1992 - SECT 123

Development of codes of practice

             (1)  It is the intention of the Parliament that radio and television industry groups representing:

                     (a)  commercial broadcasting licensees; and

                     (b)  community broadcasting licensees other than providers of services targeted, to a significant extent, to one or more remote Indigenous communities; and

                   (ba)  community broadcasting licensees whose services are targeted, to a significant extent, to one or more remote Indigenous communities; and

                     (c)  providers of subscription broadcasting services; and

                     (d)  providers of subscription narrowcasting services; and

                     (e)  providers of open narrowcasting services;

develop, in consultation with the ACMA and taking account of any relevant research conducted by the ACMA, codes of practice that are to be applicable to the broadcasting operations of each of those sections of the industry.

             (2)  Codes of practice developed for a section of the broadcasting industry may relate to:

                     (a)  preventing the broadcasting of programs that, in accordance with community standards, are not suitable to be broadcast by that section of the industry; and

                     (b)  methods of ensuring that the protection of children from exposure to program material which may be harmful to them is a high priority; and

                     (c)  methods of classifying programs that reflect community standards; and

                     (d)  promoting accuracy and fairness in news and current affairs programs; and

                     (e)  preventing the broadcasting of programs that:

                              (i)  simulate news or events in a way that misleads or alarms the audience; or

                             (ii)  depict the actual process of putting a person into a hypnotic state; or

                            (iii)  are designed to induce a hypnotic state in the audience; or

                            (iv)  use or involve the process known as subliminal perception or any other technique that attempts to convey information to the audience by broadcasting messages below or near the threshold of normal awareness; and

                      (f)  in the case of codes of practice developed by commercial broadcasting licensees--broadcasting time devoted to advertising; and

                     (g)  in the case of codes of practice developed by commercial radio broadcasting licensees--the broadcasting of Australian music; and

                     (h)  methods of:

                              (i)  handling complaints from the public about program content or compliance with codes of practice; and

                             (ii)  reporting to the ACMA on complaints so made; and

                      (i)  captioning of programs for the hearing impaired; and

                      (j)  in the case of codes of practice developed by community broadcasting licensees:

                              (i)  the kinds of sponsorship announcements that may be broadcast by those licensees; or

                             (ii)  the kinds of sponsorship announcements that particular kinds of program may carry; and

                     (k)  in the case of codes of practice developed by subscription broadcasting licensees--dealings with customers of the licensees, including methods of billing, fault repair, privacy and credit management;

                      (l)  such other matters relating to program content as are of concern to the community.

             (3)  In developing codes of practice relating to matters referred to in paragraphs (2)(a) and (c), community attitudes to the following matters are to be taken into account:

                     (a)  the portrayal in programs of physical and psychological violence;

                     (b)  the portrayal in programs of sexual conduct and nudity;

                     (c)  the use in programs of offensive language;

                     (d)  the portrayal in programs of the use of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco;

                     (e)  the portrayal in programs of matter that is likely to incite or perpetuate hatred against, or vilifies, any person or group on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or physical or mental disability;

                      (f)  such other matters relating to program content as are of concern to the community.

          (3E)  A code of practice referred to in paragraph (2)(i) has no effect to the extent to which it is inconsistent with a standard determined under subsection 130ZZA(1).

             (4)  If:

                     (a)  a group representing a particular section of the broadcasting industry develops a code of practice to be observed in the conduct of the broadcasting operations of that section of the industry; and

                     (b)  the ACMA is satisfied that:

                              (i)  the code of practice provides appropriate community safeguards for the matters covered by the code; and

                             (ii)  the code is endorsed by a majority of the providers of broadcasting services in that section of the industry; and

                            (iii)  members of the public have been given an adequate opportunity to comment on the code;

the ACMA must include that code in the Register of codes of practice.

             (5)  To avoid doubt, a reference in this section to broadcasting operations includes a reference to each commercial television broadcasting service provided by a commercial television broadcasting licensee.

             (6)  To avoid doubt, a reference in this section to broadcasting operations includes a reference to each commercial radio broadcasting service provided by a commercial radio broadcasting licensee.

             (7)  To avoid doubt, a reference in this section to broadcasting operations includes a reference to each community radio broadcasting service provided by a designated community radio broadcasting licensee.



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