The ponderous pace of legislation change could delay Australia’s newly-sanctioned R18+ classification for years yet.
Following the standing committee of attorneys-general in July during which the new rating was finally agreed upon, federal minister for home affairs Brendan O’Connor said he hoped to see it in place by the end of 2011.
But speaking at the Politics of Play debate at Macquarie University’s GAME event last night, as reported by Kotaku, the Classification Branch’s David Emery said the process will take years.
“It’s probably going to take another couple of years before you’re actually going to get an R18 that you can apply for, like a conventional classification that you have today,” he said, noting that the appropriate legislation had already been proposed in parliament, but that’s this was only the first step.
“There’s changes that have to be made subsequent to that – to the Classification Act – to allow for people who have had a game that has gone to the classification board and been refused classification to then be resubmitted in some form.
“There also needs to be changes made to each state and territories classification act, that needs to go through the exact same process that I’ve just described, except on a state level.
“All of those things take ages. There are lots of delays. The answer is that it’ll probably be another couple of years before we’ll be able to accept an application for an R18 game.”
Australia currently has no legal retail provision for games with content above MA15+, and existing classification systems have come under heavy criticism for the last two decades for inconsistency in both approving and refusing adult content.