At the moment it's looking almost certain that Victoria is going to have a Liberal Government, which means that Rob Hulls, the Attorney-General most vocal in his support on an R18+ rating for Australia, will be replaced. Will this affect our chances of receiving an R18+ rating for Australia?
It's a tough call, and we can only speculate at this stage, but we can think of numerous outcomes from the current situation in Victoria.
As we know from Michael Atkinson's tenure as the South Australian Attorney-General, it only takes one person to oppose the introduction of an R18+ rating, but with Rob Hulls leaving, the affiliations of the other Attorneys-General are unknown. Michael Atkinson was all too happy to be the "lightening rod" [sic]for the ire of those in support of R18+, but the reality is that that other Attorneys-General could have similar views.
It's also possible that other AGs support an R18+ rating, but sad truth is that most probably don't care and have very little personal feelings on the matter.
With Michael Atkinson's crusade now relegated to history, the decision will most likely be a political one, and in that regard the addition of one more Liberal AG may favour our chances. Previously all but one state (WA) had a Labor Premier - one more Liberal AG means that now any decision made doesn't necessarily have to be a blanket 'Labor' stance on the issue - it can be a bi-partisan decision made on the basis of common sense.
There's also the possibility, however, that the hullaballoo of Victoria's hung government may spill over to the SCAG meeting, resulting in the decision being postponed again, possibly until after March. By that time it's looking likely that we'll have another Liberal State government in NSW and, as a result, another new Attorney-General.
What then? Well, again, we can only speculate. Personally we want this whole thing decided upon by December and with the Attorneys-General keeping quiet on the issue, we need to maintain our efforts to make the R18+ issue worthy of their attention. Our main worry is that the R18+ debate will be brushed aside during the SCAG meeting or, worse, not discussed at all.
But we have control over that. If we make enough noise then the R18+ issue will become a priority. You can head here for details on how to write directly to your local Attorney-General, and here for help in making sure your letter gets notice.
The SCAG meeting takes place December 10 - that's 11 days away. It's now or never folks!