Aussie R18+ aiming for Jan. 2013 introduction

The R18+ legislation has been introduced in federal parliament; government says legislation is scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2013. UPDATE: Clare's office explains the bill's introduction date.

by

Australian gamers can expect to have an R18+ classification for games by January 1, 2013, according to the federal government.

Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare today introduced the R18+ bill in parliament and announced the federal government expects the R18+ for games legislation to officially come into effect next year.

Last month, Clare announced his intention to stick to former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor's previous plans in introducing the R18+ legislation in the February 2012 session of parliament.

Clare has stayed true to this plan, officially introducing the R18+ for games bill in parliament today.

"This will bring the classification categories for computer games into line with existing categories used to classify films and make the Australian classification regime more consistent with international standards," Clare told parliament.

"This reform has been a long time coming. Agreement to introduce an R18+ category has been reached after 10 years of negotiations with the states and territories. Over these 10 years, the Australian computer game industry has grown--along with the number of Australian computer gamers."

Clare told parliament that R18+ will first be introduced at a federal level, with states and territories following later with their own legislation for the adult classification.

"A lot of Australians are passionate about this reform. This bill will implement the Commonwealth's obligations as part of this agreement--and state and territory jurisdictions will follow with their own legislation later this year. It is anticipated that the Act provided for in this Bill will come into effect on the first of January next year."

Federal parliament officially resumed on February 7 this year. 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 toward the R18+ cause, while the Greens have showed their support in the past.

UPDATE: GameSpot AU spoke to Clare's office to confirm why the R18+ bill's introduction date is a full eleven months away. According to Clare's office, Clare worked in consultation with Australian states and territories to come up with the January 1, 2013 introduction date for the R18+ classification.

Clare's office said there were two reasons for the January 1, 2013 introduction date: firstly, to allow for the time it will take for the R18+ bill to pass through both the House of Representatives and the Senate before becoming law; and secondly, to take into account the time it will take all states and territories to draft complementary legislation surrounding the introduction of R18+ for games.

GameSpot AU will continue to update this story.

Discussion

21 comments
Grimkillah
Grimkillah

So the xbox version of Witcher 2 will be censored in the mean time? guess I have to import it from UK.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@superbuuman Welcome to Australian politics. Each party pulls this crap in opposition.

H0rr0rG4m3r
H0rr0rG4m3r

WOOT WOOT finally.... after all this time they finally understand what is better for the gaming and non-gaming community.

Hellsasin
Hellsasin

At least it was not delayed agian. At least we finnaly get it.

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

House of representatives taking time to pass a law. If they stopped their internal bickering and actually knuckled down and done what its people want then these laws would not take so long to pass.

benboz
benboz

Far out, gotta wait that long.

Hellsy_PK
Hellsy_PK

How convenient, I'll be 18 by then!

Lhomity
Lhomity

Typical. I mean, they could fast-track it but, they won't. Leaves plenty of room to pull it later on if public opinion shifts.

rcbhappy
rcbhappy

2013? this is bull#%#%! get it in this year?

Peyj
Peyj

I was kidding people. This is good news.

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

FFS they have to be the most lazy arse people to take this long to do something that every other country that I know of in the world has done...I personally feel they are dragging this on as they dont care to do it at all anyway. No matter even if they do now I will still buy from overseas.

selbie
selbie

Great job keeping us up to date with this stuff GSAU. It's a shame this took 10 years to come to fruition, but hey, that's government bureaucracy for ya.

electroflame
electroflame

They only put the date up because they know we'll never make it to 2013. Also, for those with faulty sarcasm detectors: /jk

Shredwolf
Shredwolf

Australian Government needs to hurry the hell up and introduce this R-18 bill because if they are smart enough, game industry is big, it's not like 10 years ago. If I'm not mistaken most hardcore gamers would rather order the game online than get ripped off by the retailers.

wawasjohn
wawasjohn

oh finally. too bad we will still get games banned here. still dont get how darkness 2 made it though. all it is gonna do is move MA games up to R and R games will get banned. they need to wake up to them self's and learn MA games r no where near as bad as MA Movies .

Peyj
Peyj

Too bad none of us will be here to see that.