Australian R18+ rating unlikely – NSW will not vote

Just a few hours after the Australian gaming public was confused by the stance taken by the South Australian Attorney-General, they’re now getting angry over his New South Wales counterpart’s decision.

Australian R18+ Classification Symbol

Seems further and further away

While the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General had planned on making a decision regarding the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games on Friday at a meeting in Adelaide, the NSW Attorney-General has announced he will not vote on the topic at this time.

In order to change the classification, all nine federal, state and territory censorship ministers must agree – even if all eight remaining vote for the change, one person holding back means the whole deal is postponed until at least the next SCAG meeting.

According to recent studies, two-thirds of the Australian states and territories are publicly in favour of the R18+ introduction (including the controversial South Australian vote) – while the remaining three (NSW, Victoria and Western Australia) announced they would hold off on making a decision until some time closer to the meeting.

Now, it seems that time has come, and while the Victorian and Western Australian ministers are keeping quiet, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith has announced that he will not vote.

Greg Smith

NSW Attorney General,
Greg Smith

In a recent statement issued to [surl=]GameSpot AU[/surl], a spokesperson for Smith explained:

We’re not going down a definitive route.

More work needs to be done on this issue. We want to wait to see the results of the ALRC [Australian Law Reform Commission] classification review.

The ALRC review is currently underway, but no results are expected until early 2012 at the earliest. The review addresses video games, but also other classification-related issues, with an overhaul of the Australian national classification scheme predicted as a result.

Back in April, Home Affairs and Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor promised gamers a “hard stance” on the topic – so we’ll see if he’s able to convince NSW to join the majority – or if, as threatened, the Federal politicians will take things into their own hands and make the decision for the States.

playerattack will be at Friday’s SCAG meeting in Adelaide, keeping you up to date with any news and information that may come from the event – even if that news is simply that we have to keep waiting.

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