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Content regulation


The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 heralded a new, flexible regulatory regime which set out a consultative role for the ABA with respect to the way program content was to be regulated. It allowed the various broadcasting industry sectors to set their own programming guidelines, in the form of codes of practice.

Broadcasting industry codes of practice

The ABA has registered codes of practice for all broadcasting sectors, with the exception of the ABC and SBS codes which are notified to the ABA. Section 123A of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 requires periodic review of the codes. The ABA monitors complaints made to the broadcasters to assess whether the codes of practice are in tune with prevailing community standards and concerns. Most codes require that complaints be made in writing.

Registration of codes of practice

Once an industry code of practice has been developed, it is presented to the ABA for registration. In assessing a code of practice for registration the ABA considers three mandatory criteria. The ABA must register a code of practice if it is satisfied that:

  • the code of practice provides appropriate community safeguards for the matters covered by the code;
  • the code has been endorsed by a majority of the providers of broadcasting services in that section of the industry; and
  • members of the public have been given an adequate opportunity to comment on the code.

You can view the codes by selecting from the menu to the right.

See the codes for:

Commerical TV
 Community Broadcasting
 Pay TV (Subscription)
 National Broadcasters
Further information:
 Breach findings
 Making a complaint



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