We've had our own issues with the Australian Christian Lobby with regards to video game classification, but now it seems that Jim Wallace is taking issue with Fiona Patten of The Sex Party after she expressed support for a complete overhaul of the classification system, including the introduction of an R18 rating for video games.
In an extremely telling opinion piece, Fiona Patten took issue with the SCAG meeting in December, and the fact that Jim Wallace of the ACL was allowed to address the Attorneys-General, along with anti-games campaigner Dr Elizabeth Handley.
The 80% of Australians who supported an R rating in the polls should be pretty concerned that before their last meeting on games, SCAG allowed the Australian Christian Lobby's, Jim Wallace to address them on the issue. They also allowed another anti games campaigner, Dr Elizabeth Handley to address them.
When I tried to address SCAG a few years ago on censorship issues I was told that the group did not entertain lobbyists of any kind. Clearly things have changed and now if you represent a Christian view you get in. This represents an appalling misuse of power and engages Australia's Attorney's General in discriminatory behaviour which could well be illegal if it was someone else doing it.
According to Patten, this a direct result of an extremely conservative group of Attorneys-General that don't represent the middle ground of the Australian public.
SCAG has probably been the most conservative cross party grouping of senior politicians ever to exist in Australia. The recent changes have altered nothing. Rob Hulls has exited on behalf of Victoria and he has been replaced by an 'out' Christian, Robert Clark. John Rau has replaced the 'high Anglican' Michael Atkinson in SA and Christian Porter is the newbie for WA. The conservative Christian A-G in NSW, John Hatzistagos, who recently became the first ever A-G to give police censorship powers, is unfortunately still there although he will be removed at the next NSW state election in March. But don't hold your breath that the new NSW Liberal A-G will be any better because it will be yet another born again Christian - Greg Smith. So why is that men of religious persuasion get such a good run on SCAG? Where are all the civil libertarian Attorneys like Lionel Murphy, Gareth Evans and Daryl Williams
The response from Jim Wallace is entirely predictable, and laced with the same scare-mongering language we've come to expect from the Australian Christian Lobby.
While the system has been left behind by new media - a key reason for this probe - any review should also take in outdoor advertising and the self-governing television stations whose constant boundary pushing has left very little public and prime time space as a respite for the necessary innocence of childhood.
Of course those who make a living from exploiting people, particularly young women, along with those who produce violent and sexualized video games, want to see the rules loosened further.
Somehow they want us to believe that lifting current bans on extreme interactive violence and gratuitous sex will better protect children.
He also spoke on his experience of presenting to the Attorneys-General at the SCAG meeting.
Members of the public supposedly expressing overwhelming support in opinion polls for lifting the ban of extreme interactive computer game violence might also baulk if they too could see what the State and Federal Attorneys General saw.
It was very clear to me that the great majority of AGs were in a state of bemusement that anyone could want to make or play many of these games and particularly those proposed for an R18+ rating, and many said so.
We're almost loathe to give the Australian Christian Lobby any more attention that they deserve, considering their out-dated, out of touch views on what is a clear cut issue for the Australian public - but we think it's important to see what we're up against. The influence that the Australian Christian Lobby has had over the R18+ debate is probably the greatest tragedy of this whole affair - considering that not only do they not reflect the opinion of Australians, they don't even reflect the opinions of the Christians they are supposed to represent.
At the moment the Classification Board are currently taking submissions on the proposed terms of reference for the upcoming review on classification as a whole - you can have your say using this online enquiry form
You can also head here to read our extensive feature on the overhaul of classification in Australia.
Classification system should provide respite for innocence of children [ABC Technology And Games]