Australian Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor’s wants to introduce R18+ for games by mid-2011, and according to Gamespot Australia, wants state and territory attorney generals to accept the guidelines proposed so it can be taken to a vote and implemented.
O’Connor said he hopes the issue will be resolved by July, and could have been in March but New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos is skipping the March SCAG meeting.
“It would be optimistic to assume we would even get to the voting stage [on R18+] in March,” O’Connor told the site. “But we need to resolve this issue one way or another. From the Federal Government’s point of view, we’d like the matter determined at the July SCAG meeting, regardless of which way it swings. We can’t continue to go back and forth on this. I can only keep presenting the arguments, and by then, all the ministers will be present, and everyone will have had a good chance to look at the issue properly and determine a final position.
“As far as GameSpot AU readers are concerned, we cannot make any sort of decision on the R18+ issue in March. But I am determined to seek to get common ground among every minister to move ahead on this issue; in the end, the Commonwealth’s position is that we need an R18+ classification for video games in this country.
“This is a sound argument insofar as doing the right thing and protecting minors; it is also a reasonable argument as it allows for adults to access material that is accessible by other adults in other countries; and it fits in with evolving changes in technology. So, [R18+ for games] is good public policy, and that’s what I’ll continue to say to people.”
Those attending the March meeting could approve R18+ with those absent verifying their positions after the meeting.
O’Connor thinks Australia could possibly have an R18+ classification for games before the end of 2011.
One can hope.