R18+ legislation prepared for Australian Parliament

Australian parliament resumed last week – and while that might not be an event of interest to the typical gamer, this year will be a little different, as we literally count down the days until legislation relating to the R18+ rating for video games is introduced.

The new Federal Minister for Home Affairs – Jason Clare – explains the Bill has already taken one giant leap forward, as it is cleared by the Federal Parliamentary Caucus of the Australian Labor Party.

Now, as Clare remains true to former Minister Brendan O’Connor’s plan, the Bill will be introduced to parliament, which resumed February 7th.

Australia's Parliament House, in Canberra

Australia's Parliament House, in Canberra

It’s not completely smooth sailing from here, however. The Bill must be supported by at least two crossbench MPs in order to pass through the House of Representatives (Lower House). That means the four independents – Bob Katter, Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie – plus Greens MP Adam Bandt must now make a decision. All five have kept quiet on the topic so far.

Once that’s done, either the coalition or the Greens must throw their support behind the Bill for it to pass the Senate (Upper House). Both parties have previously been supportive of the issue, but it is still not a guaranteed success. Any amendments to the Bill at this stage would cause it to circle back to the Lower House and go through the same procedure again.

Things currently look quietly positive for the Bill – and for Australian gamers – but as with all things in politics, things won’t move quickly. The R18+ legislation could still be a year or two off, according to experts.

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