Australia: Home Affairs to bring R18+ bill before first session of parliament

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:12 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Newly incumbent minister for home affairs Jason Clare has been quick to pick up Brendan O’Conner’s reins, aiming to secure a vote on Australia’s proposed R18+ games rating in February.

“Our plans are to introduce the R18+ bill in the first session of parliament this year,” a representative for the minister’s office told Gamespot.

To make it through the Lower House, the bill will need the support of two two crossbench members to pass. The five members – independents Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor, Andrew Wilkie, Bob Katter, and Greens Adam Bandt – have not made their stances on R18+ public. Parliament will meet for the first time in 2012 on February 7, leaving just two weeks to contact your local MP and communicate your opinion on the matter.

If the bill passes through the Lower House, it will move onto the Senate, and require support from the Coalition or the Greens.

Australia’s attorneys general agreed to proposed classification reform in mid 2011 after years of debate. Australia currently refuses classification to any games judged too high impact for the MA 15+ category; the proposed changes would allow the legal sale of R18+ classified games, and also modify existing MA15+ category guidelines to ensure more consistent application.