Australia's Anti-R18+ Attorney-General Sees Fake People

South Australia 's opposition calls for the firing of Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, the primary reason the country can't give games a R18+ mature rating, after he suggested that a West Croydon citizen was an imaginary plant for the Liberal Party.

In December, Luke Plunkett clarified the R18+ video game ratings mess in Australia for us, explaining that while five of the six Attorneys-General of the country agree that video games should be allowed mature ratings, the required sixth, Michael Atkinson, did not, fearing that it would make it too easy for children to purchase mature video games.

Now we're given a better idea of what the games industry in Australia is dealing with.

Earlier this week Atkinson made news after repealing controversial internet censorship laws, enacted to ensure that comments on the March 20th election could not be made anonymously or through the use of assumed names. The laws required such comments to include their real name and postcode in such comments, in order to verify their veracity. Non-compliance would result in fines of $US1250 for individuals and $US5000 for businesses.

As you can imagine, this didn't go over well.

So the law was repealed, which is good, but then Atkinson went on DMG Radio to explain why the laws were necessary.

"I'll give you an example; repeatedly in the AdelaideNow website one will see commentary from Aaron Fornarino of West Croydon. That person doesn't exist," he said.

"That name has been created by the Liberal Party in order to run Liberal Party commentary."

Aaron Fornarino, it turns out, is a real person, living only a couple of hundred metres from Atkinson's office.

Paranoid much?

So now South Australia's Opposition is calling for his removal from office, asking that Premier Mike Rann terminate the Attorney-General for breach of the ministerial code of conduct.

"It is unacceptable for a minister to diminish the reputation of a member of the public, indeed anyone, recklessly or deliberately," Ms Chapman said. "It is not acceptable that the Premier do nothing about this."

Now the actual chances of Michael Atkinson being sacked over this are slim. It's pretty much one of the functions of Australia's Opposition, calling for the termination of elected officials at every turn, but it does give us a clearer picture of the sort of man standing in the way of Australia's R18+ video game ratings, doesn't it?


    I can't believe anything this crazy man does. Is he paranoid or ignorant? Maybe both?

    It really seems like Atkinsons mind is begining to crack. Was he always this delusional and it's only becoming more apparent the longer he's under the spotlight, or is he slowly beginning to crack under the pressure of trying to uphold what he thought was a easy vote winning topic of hating videogames? Whatever the case this guy is seriously out of touch with the more technologicaly orientated aspects of society.

    More and more I get the feeling that he is simply not sane. It's even more frustrating to think that the whole system is blocked by a paranoid...

    No exactly crazy, just to closed minded to actually check the electoral roll for someone who disagrees.

    You don't win friends with salad!

    He's not just Fox news crazy, he's needle bending Jack Thompson levels of caaa razy!

    This actually just proves he is ignorant when it comes to some (or all) things.

    "War on democracy" that's great; you cannont keep contradicting yourself and expect to remain credible.

    I'd like to clarify that the law has not been repealed. Mr Atkinson has promised to repeal the law after the election (which assumes he will be re-elected, still be in government, and still be Attorney-General). Until then he says he will use regulations to grant an exemption for online commenters. Regulations can be changed almost at will by the government, so it is nowhere near as permanent as a repeal.

    While only the name and postcode need to be published with the comment, the law actually requires that commenters provide their full name and address to the site they comment on.

    Need I say that someone who wasn't involved in creating the law in the first place would be more trustworthy for those interested in seeing it repealed? Say, Kat Nicholson and Gamers4Croydon in general. We have a specific policy guaranteeing our support for the repeal of this legislation, and our constitution requires that any future policies will not infringe on human rights. (And we're not Atkinson)

    Chris Prior

      So one could logically say, Chris, he's created, or helped create, this law or rule, as blackmail to vote him back in. 'Vote me back in and I will repeal it, vote me out and you're stuck with it'. Surely that's somewhat unconstitutional!?

      Not that in the last few years our good old corrupt Mr Atkinson has cared whats constitutional and what's not...

    If the Labour are defeated or Atkinson loses his seat, whatever, I think he'll join the Conroy Internet Censorship bandwagon so we'll not see the last of him even if the election goes the way gamers are wanting.

    As I understand it, the law regarding publication has NOT been repealed - he has said that he will repeal it AFTER the election. You'd need to vote him back in to have it repealed, which no one wants to do.

    Good news is the Government in SA is down in the polls, and the Liberals have a good chance of ousting the ALP at this years State election.

    Pressure from the lobbies for an R rating should turn just as much attention to the shadow attorney general as Atkinson himself. I'm yet to see anything published with her views on the subject.

    Yet another reason the system is in need of an overhaul and this guy is in need of a psychologist

    The rating change approval system really should be by 2/3 majority rather than unanimous vote

    Why not call someone an imginary plant, the whole situation is a joke anyway. Government officials should be worried about other things such as solutions to water usage.

    He sounds like someone who is scared of technology and believes everything that comes from it is evil.

    I don't get it. The stuff Atkinson's gotten away with in the past would've destroyed anyone elses political career many times over. But now it's starting to come back around. Only problem is that it's Rann that'll take the hit by losing the election.

    I've said it before, I respect Mike Rann and what he's done for the state, but the company he keeps around him is leading to his downfall.

    wow I have 300 signed petitions in a week :\

    How come Kotaku AU never reported on Atkinson's new law, etc?

    I just can't believe it. It's like every time I turn on the tv or the pc, there's something even wierder about Atkinson come to light... just... wow.

    It isnt really a good thing that the ALP will be ousted, with the current members of each party lined up against one another we really do currently have the lesser of 2 evils.
    I think i would prefer to vote for no political powers, let anarchy reign supreme and see how it goes, just for a change.

    The liberals are just as bad if not worse in this case, have we all forgot the way he ends the letters he sends out to everyone? 'Thank you to the liberal party for their support'? They voted for Atkinson's crazy internet laws then tried to make out like they were tricked to save face. All that needs to be done is for Croydon to be won by G4C and for atkinson to be kicked out from his seat. The people of croydon just don't know how important it is for him to be voted out, outside of the R issue also, if that was done the rest of the party would listen, and if liberals win outright they will just say it's their time and not take on the swing against atkinson into account, atkinson getting kicked out would capture the ALP's attention and they would just give the R rating to save power, that's if not the West australian attorney general doesn't take his place, but I'm not sure anyone outside of atkinson would have the resolve to take the never ending sea of emails and letters gamers send. When people used to say 'go with the devil you know there is no difference' I used to hate it being a huge fan of politics, because there once was a big difference, but in this case South australia really doesn't have much of a choice, it's between voting for hitler or stalin, G4C are doing a better job than I thought they ever could and it helps so close to an election that atkinson has done this, I'm shocked so close he would do the dvd laws, now this, it goes to show how much he just assumes he is untouchable to be pulling stunts right before an election, but he made it through worse because he owns the labor party in SA more than Rann himself. And federal labor want to do the same with their internet filter so no hope there for them to force his hand. I still don't get how any systems needs all to vote one way, this is the only case that isn't majority and it's not a matter of him hating video games, he is like this with everything, even members of his own party said he doesn't listen to anyone on anything. But yeah I am shocked kotaku hadn't jumped on this crazy story sooner. It would be almost funny because it's so crazy that he is like a ruler rather than elected official and we can't get him out, if it was a tv show and not something imposing into our lives. Check out the hidden cash scandal as well, weird laws to bikies, all other stuff he has done, you'll learn to hate this man on so many new levels.
    And a attorney general going through the electoral roll and hunting down bloggers in some A grade messed up crap, he should be kicked out just for that.
    Don't you love the way he makes out blogger are all in their teens and 20's? arrrr no atkinson they're not. And how he still sticks up for his crazy laws while saying he will undo them? And most of all saying the younger generation are asserting themselves politically and we must listen in a democratic society? By that logic what about the R rating, everyone has been wanting that for years and is in the same family as this issue, just give the r rating as it won't end the world, it will keep more games away from kids and have parents telling older siblings not to let the little ones play if it's r, ma means nothing to them, my parents let me watch M but never R, if all films were M I don't think they would have kept track, so just introduce the new rating because a rating is just a guide for content which will reflect more correctly than the current system and save yourself this headache that will never end until you either retire or get voted out. And stop taking the moral highground Mick, you've done alot of shaddy stuff so who are you to look down on bloggers and gamers just for speaking their mind in response to your actions!

    Bout time he got the shit out.

    Its About Time We Get It.. It Should Never Have Been Banned.. Its What Everyone Wants! All Those Censored Games Did NO GOOD Whatsoever; Big Waste Of Time, Just Made Everyone Angry.. A Burden On The Whole Rating System.

    I think he's a little scared he will like the games that would be released :)

    Scawy videogames make me have nightmares!!! *Crys in corner*

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