Brendan O'Connor, Australian Minister for Justice, has stated that the next SCAG (Standing Committee of Attorneys-General) meeting, which is to take place, ironically, in Adelaide on July 21 and 22 needs to be the crunch meeting for a decision on the introduction of an R18+ rating for videogames here in Australia.
"Last year the Gillard Government declared its position and it’s time for all States and Territories to declare their hand on this issue," he said at the close of the most recent SCAG meeting, which took place last Saturday, March 5. "The introduction of an R18+ classification for computer games will provide better advice to parents and help prevent children and teenagers from accessing unsuitable material."
Last week's meeting offered up draft guidelines for the introduction of an R18+ classification, but no agreement could be met because the "New South Wales government is in pre-election caretaker mode". The draft guidelines that were presented include:
- Provide appropriate safeguards to restrict the availability of material that’s unsuitable for children
- Address the difference in nature between films and computer games, especially in terms of interactivity
- Ensure that the Refused Classification category is retained
"I anticipate that my State and Territory counterparts will further consider the draft guidelines and seek their Governments’ position on an R 18+ classification before the next meeting in July," O'Connor said. "When making their decision, I urge State and Territory Governments to consider the value of an adults only rating in helping to protect children from unsuitable content as well as the strong public support for this move."
Not long now folks.