Office of Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare has confirmed that the R18+ for games bill will be introduced in the first session of parliament this year, commencing February 7.
In July last year, Australian gamers rejoiced at the news that federal, state, and territory censorship ministers reached an in-principle agreement to introduce an R18+ classification for video games in Australia. At the time, former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor revealed that the introduction of the R18+ bill would happen in the February 2012 session of parliament.
However, O'Connor was reassigned to a new portfolio during the federal government's ministerial reshuffle late last year, with former Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare named the new Federal Minister for Home Affairs in his place. Despite inheriting O'Connor's portfolio, including the issue of R18+, Clare has so far been silent on his intentions for the adult classification for games.
Now, speaking to GameSpot AU, Clare's office has revealed that the minister will stick to the previously announced timeline for R18+ and will introduce the R18+ for games bill in the first session of this year's parliamentary sittings, due to commence on February 7.
"Our plans are to introduce the R18+ bill in the first session of parliament this year," a spokesperson for Clare's office told GameSpot AU. "If it passes the Lower House, it will then go to the Senate for the same process."
In order for the R18+ bill to be passed through the Lower House (House of Representatives), Clare's office says it requires the support of at least two crossbench MPs. The crossbench MPs are Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor, Andrew Wilkie, Bob Katter, and Greens MP Adam Bandt, who have remained silent on their stance over R18+ to date.
To pass through the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the coalition or the Greens, both of which are sympathetic to the R18+ issue; in November 2010, Federal Opposition Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis voiced his sympathy towards the R18+ cause, while the Greens have showed their support in the past.
GameSpot AU will continue to update this story.
I'll believe it when it actually happens. All this talk over the years has totally crushed my hopes of ever seeing this though. Don't get me wrong, I want this very much. But it's far too late, I'll never be allowed to play Mortal Kombat now. Even if I imported the game, I would not be allowed to buy any dlc off the marketplace.
this is a bloody outrage it is, we should take this all the way to the prime minister http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFV2QYsw9yo
I'm pretty sure some know what I'm going to post by now.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLkgXhGraFM I can't help it. It suits so many situations like these.
It's truly pathetic that there is still no cert 18 yet. Australia is constantly hounding on about "buying local" and not buying importing. Yet they can't even provide the goods that the public are demanding. And the good they do provide are too expensive. In the end, it's not going to matter that Australia has a cert 18 or not. Games (and most other goods) in Australia are still way over-priced in comparison to other countries, and it's still going to be way cheaper to import - even with shipping costs.
If they don't pass this bill then the countries leaders don't know what its people really wan't but then when have they ever. I'm sure the gaming community is larger then those appossed to violent games. You got to watch out for those that don't care but when the time comes they will vote against (mainly parents).
It's amazing how long this has taken. At least it's here now, just around the corner. And to former AG Michael Atkinson - suck on that one mate.
Wasn't this supposed to be dealt with after the last elections with this being a major promise that most parties offerred voters?
@muzza93 We may not miss out on many game but there are still and few and for the ones that we do get, the graphical content has been severely slashed. For example LFD2
@TioShard I would import but then you cant get DLC, unless u get ahold of a voucher card from the country the game came from.
it'll probably go something like the Simpsons episode "CONGRESSMAN Wait a second, I want to tack on a rider to that bill - $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts. SPEAKER All in favor of the amended Games-R18-slash-pervert bill?"
Ah, good - this is happening. Let's hope this goes through, and let's also hope we get some games that have been banned in the past (Mortal Kombat, Risen). Now, if only they would drop prices to be similar to the US, everything would be a whole lot better.
Hoping this passes. Can't happen quick enough, and really should have happened at least 10 years ago. It certainly sounds like there's enough support for it to pass, so that's an encouraging sign, but there are some voices in the senate who oppose this, such as Penny Wong, Cameron Smith (Both ALP) and of course, Family First is firmly against this and would sooner see video games banned entirely to suit their Christian fundamentalist views. Laura Parker needs to go on ABC's The Drum again to help raise awareness for this, imo. Reppin' Aussie gamers. Its not being talked about enough in mainstream media here (... or could that be a good thing to avoid the attention of extremists? *ponders*) If this bill doesn't pass, I'mma save some moneys and move overseas. For reals.
Hope this passes so that parents actually know what games are appropriate for their children. Lol, Aussie 15 year olds playing GTA, MW, and BF when you have to be 17-18+ to play them everywhere else.....Absolute insanity!
dont really like the greens, for there stupid introduction of the carbon tax to the labor government, but they've gained a lil ground in my eyes for supporting this bill
I'm so used to importing now, whether this passes or not it no longer makes a difference to me or anyone else who refuses to deal with this country's bs.
What is the big deal, if you allow R18+ movies and X rated porn which are more realistic than games what is the big deal in having R18+ classification games, come-on man seriously.
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