Now that each separate state and territory is in the process of putting together its own laws regarding R18+ and classification, we’ve managed to take a quick scan at some of the legislation, which has either passed or is in the process of being passed. It lays out, in detail, some of the specific restrictions for the display and sale of R18+ games in the State, and also includes information on how consumers and retailers could be punished if they put themselves in breach of those restrictions. You could go to prison for selling an R18+ game to minors.
Victoria’s proposed legislation seems to be the most harsh in terms of punishments. If you are caught selling an R18+ game to a minor in Victoria you could be looking at a major fine, or up to six months in Prison. Displaying an R18+ game in a public place where minors could possible see the game also comes with the same punishment.
The penalty for showing a game that has been refused classification to a minor has been massively increased. Previously the punishment was the equivalent of a slap on the wrist with a fine. Now there is the possibility of two years in prison for the same offense.
It’s worth bearing in mind that, at time of writing, this legislation has not yet been passed.
In the NSW legislation, which has been passed, there is no mention of prison time — but some pretty hefty fines. Individuals can be punished up to 100 penalty points for selling R18+ material to minors, with corporations themselves being subject to a punishment equivalent to 200.
Each State and Territory has committed to having its legislation put through Parliament before January 1, with ACT and NSW leading the way. Western Australia’s legislation has been referred to a committee and Victoria’s legislation is in the process of being looked at by Parliament.
More news as we get it.