SCAG May Not Discuss R18+ At Next Meeting

With the next meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General just 41 days away, no one can obtain confirmation that the issue will even be discussed. But R18+ advocate Roland Kulen believes there are ways we can put pressure on the committee.

Everyone Plays, a PALGN initiative supported by GAME, sent a release yesterday with concerns that SCAG meeting agendas are not available to the public.

"Neither the gaming industry nor the media have been able to ascertain confirmation that any preliminary results from the public's submission to the R18+ PC and video games discussion paper will be presented to State Government Attorneys-General at the next SCAG meeting in late April." said Rob Lukic, Managing Director at GAME.

While the SCAG agenda for their April 29th meeting is hidden, they are required to provide a communique afterwards listing the items discussed. But Roland Kulen, spearhead of the Everyone Plays campaign, believes the secrecy opens the possibility of the matter being delayed inevitably.

"The agenda of this SCAG meeting is kept in confidence by the AG department. So we just don't know what's on the agenda, nor will we know any results from the submissions to the discussion paper," says Kulen.

David Doe, of the Gamers4Croydon party, wouldn't be surprised:

"With the sheer overwhelming weight in numbers in the discussion paper, they might still even be processing them all when the next meeting rolls around. There was a massive amount of submissions. But they'll definitely get a good idea of the community sentiment.

According to the Interactive Australia 2009 study from Bond University, 91% of Australian adults are in favour of the proposed rating.

Despite the rating not being the sexiest topic for politicians to talk about, it has received a generous amount of media attention. And with resources already spent on the discussion paper, how likely is it that the SCAG might snub the issue altogether?

"Unlikely," says Kulen, "but really the discussion is 'to what degree.' It's difficult to determine from the communique how seriously the issue is taken. It's very brief, and it won't let us know what level of research the AGs were provided with.

"I've seen it before, where discussion papers have been dragged out for long periods of time. We're also in an election time, two states and one federal. The last thing the pollies want to do is present a definitive view on something like this, which could anger more people than it pleases."

To that end, Everyone Plays has been working together with GAME on a petition that has so far gathered 35,363 signatures in two and a half weeks, and is expected to break 40,000 before the end of the third week. Existing signatures were sent to South Australia Attorney-General Michael Atkinson's office today, as well as that of Vick Chapman, Shadow Attorney-General, to encourage the committee to take the matter seriously.

"At the end of the day, I have two children, 16 and 10. I will not send them to see an R18+ movie, but an MA15+ movie, sure, I feel comfortable with that. But with games, I'm only left one rating, so there's real discomfort there."

The Everyone Plays petition can be signed in all GAME stores.

[GAME] [Everyone Plays]


Comments

    "I will not sent them to see an R18+ movie"

    ahahaha

    to be fair I think Gamers4Croydon have it right, the sheer amount of submisssions will mean it mightn't come up though it is an interesting point about the tumultuous political climate right now too.

      I'd actually be a little concerned if it's all pulled together quick enough for a brief to be prepared and circulated ahead of the April meeting. 55,000 submissions are an awful lot to work through and I'd be surprised if they've employed a dozen people just to work on it.

      The process will take time, and it's not going to be top priority to push it through with elections looming. It's just a matter of keeping the pressure on such that it doesn't take longer than it reasonably needs to.

    Voting out the one bloke who stands in its way would be a good start.

    (either him or his whole party, I'm not fussed. Go on, Croweaters, surprise me!)

    Hrm. I'm always upset whenever anyone mentions that issues will/won't be discussed due to an impending election. That tells me that they care more about the election and their positions than they do about the issue.

    How selfless.

    It won't get a mention at the next scag meeting because Michael Atkinson's replacement won't be ready in time, that's the excuse they will use. There hasn't even been a replacement named because the election results are still in the air even though labor has won, the number of submissions, I doubt they have people working day and night to get them done, so I put money down between the two the matter won't get a look. Why the feet dragging? Just give it to us already! The right wing side of media sometimes comes out and lies about the R rating but I doubt they will put any major effort once its in hyping it up. And what the hell was with the ABC's 7:30 report's take on it, michael atkinson couldn't have done it better himself. I bet this crap gets dragged out for years. As to jackson thurtles's comment, since when has politics been about the issues? of course its about caring more about getting in than policy.

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