For 35 years, Australian commercial TV stations have been obliged by law to provide a weekly quota of programs specifically made for school aged children, and another for preschool aged children. These programs have been known as C programs ( a 5 hr/week quota) and P programs (2.5hrs). There’s also been a requirement for extra hours of quality Australian drama for children.
Read the Children's Television Standards
For all of these years, networks have been obliged to submit their programs, or series of programs, in advance of screening, to the broadcasting regulator (currently the Australian Communications and Media Authority) to be assessed as to whether they meet the criteria:
required to gain their C, C drama, or P classification.
This obligation has been deemed necessary because the networks have not demonstrated that they would be willing to devote the resources required for quality programs otherwise.
Indeed at various times they have actively fought the requirements and/or put more creativity into avoiding them than they have into the programs .
The Abbott government has made a commitment to reduce unnecessary regulation for businesses. It has already held one Repeal Day in March 2014 during which Federal Parliament removed legislation that was deemed outdated or no longer necessary. In December, the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, canvassed the views of industry stakeholders as to whether any legislation and regulation within the communications portfolio might be removed.
Subsequently, the ACMA has now proposed a number of changes to the longstanding C and P standards. These include:
These proposals should be opposed. They will no doubt please the industry but will fail to preserve any independent quality controls.