The Queensland Government has confirmed that it will not join other Australian state and territories in introducing an R18+ classification for video games when the law is officially implemented at a federal level on January 1, 2013.
Instead, the Queensland Government will await the result of a Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee report--due to be released on February 7, 2013--before debating the R18+ legislation in parliament and officially amending the state's law to include an R18+ classification for video games. (The R18+ legislation was introduced in the Queensland Parliament on October 31, but was referred to the committee.)
According to a spokesperson for the Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, all Bills introduced in the state's parliament undergo this process.
"All Bills introduced to the Queensland Parliament, with the exception of Bills that are considered urgent, are referred to a committee to ensure the appropriate consultation can occur," the spokesperson told GameSpot Australia.
This means that R18+ games will still be illegal in Queensland from January 1, 2013, until that time when the R18+ legislation has officially passed through the state's parliament and the law amended accordingly to include an adult classification for video games.
"Between January 1, 2013 and when the Bill passes in Queensland, R18+ computer games will continue to be caught by the definition of 'objectionable computer games' under the Classification of Computer Games and Images Act 1995," Bleijie's spokesperson said.
"This means R18+ computer games cannot be publicly demonstrated, made, or sold until the law is amended in Queensland."
According to Bleijie's office, once the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee reports back on the R18+ legislation on February 7, the Bill will proceed to the Queensland Parliament to be debated.
The ACT was the first Australian territory or state to officially pass the R18+ legislation. South Australia and NSW have also officially passed the R18+ legislation, while the remaining states and territory have introduced the legislation in their respective parliaments.
The Australian Government officially introduced the R18+ rating for games legislation after it passed both Houses of Parliament on June 18 this year. The decision to put the new legislation to parliament was made at the July 2011 meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys General.
The R18+ rating for games legislation will come into effect at a federal level on January 1, 2013.