From the Archives, 1970: R rating a radical change for film censors

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The changes involve:Introduction of an “R” certificate for films to be shown only to people over the age of 18.Establishment of an appeal board or boards of specially qualified people to replace the existing single appeal censor.Provision for recourse to the courts to determine whether or not a film is obscene.The adoption of the new film censorship code was announced last night by the Minister for Customs and Excise (Mr. Chipp), who presided over the Sydney meeting and proposed the overhaul of the existing system.Mr. Chipp said that the introduction of a legally enforceable “R” certificate would remove an anomaly from Australian film censorship.”Film censorship need no longer be too inhibited by the lack of control of children’s attendance at theatres,” he said.Film exhibitors are believed to have resisted the move for an “R” certificate on the grounds that cinema proprietors should not have to bear the responsibility of judging the age of people to be admitted to their theatres.Some State Governments — notably Victoria—are understood to have been reluctant to agree to the scheme.But Mr. Chipp argued — successfully — that most comparable overseas countries now have some system of showing certain films …

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