READY: Attorneys-General Consider Their Position

In the lead up to the all-important SCAG meeting this Friday, people have been scrambling to get an idea of each Attorney-General's opinion regarding the R18+ rating. Brendan O' Connor's announcement that the Federal Government supports the rating was a huge step, but the responsibility still rests on the shoulders of Attorneys-General.

Let's start with the good news. John Rau, who replaced Michael Atkinson as the Attorney-General of South Australia, is far less hardline on the issue compared to his predecessor reports the ABC

"There's no doubt that these things are available either by mail order or through downloads off the internet," claims Rau, "so it's not as if there's a complete impossibility of getting hold of these things anyway."

"The second thing is," he continued, "that it can't just simply from my point of view be introduced R18 and leave everything as it is because that would not in my view offer enough protection and security."

At this stage Christian Porter, the Attorney-General for WA is the wild card, having come under pressure from MPs in his state to block approval of the R18+ rating.

One of the MPs petitioning Porter is the MP for Swan Hills, Frank Alban.

"I'm in favour for more protection of children and kids, he claimed, "but I think the borders of our morality have been extended to such an extent where we almost don't have any borders at all."

Time will ultimately tell, but considering that 84% of Christian Porter's constituents have spoken in favour of R18+, surely going against an adult rating in the SCAG meeting would be politically irresponsible and, above all, completely undemocratic. Of all the states in Australia, WA was the most strongly in favour of the rating. Going against the voters who elected you in an attempt to pander to a handful of MPs would be, in our humble opinion a poor choice given the circumstances.

More news as we get it.

WA government under pressure from MPs on R18+ video games [News.com.au]

SA takes softer line on R18+ game rating [ABC]


Comments

    heh, it's no wonder WA was strongly for an R18+ rating. They've got the short straw at the moment, it's not even legal for them to possess RC material. Most other states simply make the sale of such material illegal.

    See, this is the problem.

    We can have all the Brendan O'Connors and Kochies in the world wanting the R rating but if just one AG say NOPE then nothing changes. Also, it's made worse since who the hell knows when the next time the SCAG would discuss this matter after deciding against it on Friday. We could be talking about this for years to come.

    The unanimous voting system that the SCAG have in place goes against the concept of democracy itself. An AG going against what the people want by voting against the rating is bascially a further example of the already broken system that is in place. And fixing that would be ten times more difficult than getting the R rating.

    In my opinion, it will be a goddamn miracle if all the AGs decide for the R rating on Friday. That's if they even discuss it.

      The fact that the federal government has spoken in support of the ratings change should mean that if the SCAG outcome gets stymied by one AG again, the net result will most likely be federal legislation to undo the utterly stupid requirement for a unanimous decision to ammend the classification act. So in that case, it would be just be delaying what seems like the inevitable at this point.

    It would only be a poor choice to pander to a handful of MPs if the public never knew what their chosen representative was voting for.

    Rau gets it: regulate and you can make some tax $$ leave it and we'll just import it at 1/2 the price anyway. In the 21st century Aussie gamers are probably better off without the r18+, the innocent kiddies who keep getting dragged into the debate are not.

    I would put money on...

    "there's not enough information at this present time to rule thoroughly that the ratings system needs the addition of an R18+. We will therefore postpone this decision until we have all the facts and can make a 100% accurate decision"

    ... :P

      I honestly believe that this will be resolved. Too much media coverage now, to many people are aware of the situation. High 5s Kotaku readers!

        For the sake of the future of the video game industry in this country and its standing in the international industry as a whole, I hope you're right Mark.

        I agree Mark, the level of media/political attention this has been getting over the past few weeks might make it difficult to postpone again.

    WA has a history of saying NO to changes. Crazy system that we can have a minority hold the rest of us to ransom.

    Since when has democracy have been about everyone agreeing? If elections were held that way we would be in a dictatorship, Couldnt the federal gov pass legislation to go over the heads of the AG's.

      It just takes on state to say FU we're doing our own classification and the rest would be forced to follow suit.

      Good blog on this here

      http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/will-australia-finally-learn-to-distinguish-between-a-fifteen-year-old-and-an-adult/

    I am not getting my hopes up, get your hopes up only to be dissapointed when the outcome is not the one you wanted. I want it i really do but thinking realistically there is too much at the moment that can spoil the decision for me to be all excited.

    You know as much as I hope we get this I just can't shake the feeling that we won't.
    It just takes one Attorney General to screw this up for us and by the looks of it, the WA one might be the weak link here

    I truly don't understand why it takes all of them to agree on something to pass matters such as these
    It really doesn't make any sense

    WA has a large organised branch of the ACL too

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