Brendan O'Connor: 'The Time Has Come For A Decision'

Earlier today a spokesperson for the NSW Greg Smith's office claimed that they wanted to wait until after the ALRC reported back to get games classification "right". Now, in a statement sent to the ABC, Brendan O'Connor has stated that "a time has come for a decision".

"This is not only practical policy, but popular policy," stated O'Connor. "The result of a nationwide Galaxy survey requested by Attorneys-General that 80% of those surveyed said they support the introduction of an R18+ classification for games."

This is most likely a response to the claim that rushing R18+ for video games would be "bad policy".

The fact remains that, with the Australian Law Reform Commission due to report back in 2012, it's all too easy for the Attorneys-General to defer the decision. It's clearly O'Connor's intention to push the rating through to allow the ALRC to focus on broader issues, but that's looking increasingly unlikely at this point.

Games classification: O'Connor in no mood for more waiting [ABC]


    Sad Face :(

    Given the volume of other stuff SCAG needs to consider around classification reform, O'Connor is right that R18 is a tiny component that should've been dealt with years ago.

    The only motive for delay is stonewalling.

    There's no votes in classification reform and it's never going to be something that excites people into action - how many gamers wrote a submission to the ALRC without being prompted? The Attorneys-General have wide discretionary power to essentially veto this legislation themselves, and at the moment - unfortunately - we have at least two arch-conservative moralist state politicians who see no compulsion in following either the public interest or the accumulated results of decades of scientific and legal research.

    Later that week...

    "The SCAG today made a decision to delay making a decision until the ALRC comes back. The SCAG hopes that between now and then some other excuse will be found to assit in delaying making a decision then. It is likely that additional public consultation will be needed due to several thousand babies being born since the last public consultation meaning that these new citizens have not had a chance to have their say."

    So is he able to just push this thing through?

      Nope, usually any changes require the approval of *every* state/territory/federal Attorney General. At least 2 of them have concerns about it.

      He can try other stuff, like changing the legislation in Federal parliament, but that would take more time and it's probably more complicated.

    It's a legitimate concern that the R18+ issue may derail the classification discussion of the ALRC.
    Gamers have already shown that this is a contentious issue, if the SCAG makes their decision, the ALRC can ensure they did it right.

    As unlikely as it's looking at this point, at least this guy has his head screwed on properly. Good on him.

    It sounds like O'Connor is deliberately contradicting the NSW AG. I expect that either he will pressure them for a unanimous decision or the federal government will use the constant delaying as an excuse to take all the power they can from the states.

    The federal government is aalways looking for ways to get a bit more power and a lack of decision seems to be a perfectly legitimate excuse to do so. I'm all for the SCAG no longer having veto power over all classification issues.

      Just be careful and remember this (Classification) includes our Internet filter we will all have to have once the NBN is rolled out.

      Brendan will try and get this happening no matter what for his mate Conroy. If the Federal government has full say you can guarantee the filter will be in without the say so of your voice to the local state government.

      Conroy pretty much believes Refused Classification = Illegal to view/read/own. This is far from the truth of the matter.

      Child pornography has NO Classification this is because it is straight out Illegal. You will get the full weight of the justice system upon you.

      Mortal Kombat on the other hand has REFUSED Classification as there are no guidlines to suit. This does not make it illegal content. As it has no classification it is just Illegal for retailers to sell and show publicly. You can however view/play/own in the privacy of your own home.

      Refused Classification just slows down/closes the supply chain and the potential for private viewing/ownership.

      Illegal content means you are going to be charged should you be found to possess it.

      What Conroy has in mind for this filters aims and the serious reshuffling/reinvention of classification laws, to the extent that the ALRC is pursuing, is to cement that idea of Refused Classification = Illegal Content in legislation and therefore can be filtered and individual State legislation be damned.

        That's very true Ragman, and I am aware of it however I think the media uproar at a secret blacklist of website will pretty much end any public proposal for such a list. It is a concern but I don't think its practical

    The issue has been dragged out so cold, that i doubt even the people that the legislation effects care anymore.

    Old issue, sick of hearing about it.
    Just make the call so we can all stop hearing about how retarded our own political system is.

    Will never happen.
    *hands out copies of GTAIV to a 15y/o

    In my optimistic moments I think the likely outcome is this - the AG's will support the need for the introduction of an R18 rating for games, but the details of the rating, and technicalities of the changes to the classification system as a whole, will be determined after the ALRC report is in.

    That way a decision is made, but no-one has to do anything about it just yet

      That'd be fine though. The decision to introduce it is more important than the details.

    Dose anybody really think we will get an R18+ classification?
    It is not going to happen, there is no provision for free speech or freedom of expression in the Australian constitution. So as long as there is fear and political capital to be made out of this issue there will be no change in policy

    I dont know if this is a definate failsafe (oconner I mean). We should still contact the NSW attorney general, (as well as every other state general, depending on where you come from) to let them know that we support it.

    Show your overwhelming support. We've done it so many times before, but we have to keep doing it.

    More proof we live on the arse end of the world with censorship ruling the population.

    But something like the Global Warming Theory they will push through a Carbon Tax no problem even though 33,000 scientist are sueing Al Gore for distorting scientific data.

    Australia ass backward.

    I don't think we can rely on the NSW government to support the reclassification. Why?

    They need the support of various whacky minor parties in the senate to get their own legislation passed and won't do anything to upset them. Examples so far include;

    Deals with the Shooters Party to allow kids access to gun groups at school (nothing like letting kids get access to guns at school) and overturned various bans on fishing and hunting in parts of NSW. Let's also not forget that Sydney's Taronga Zoo sold excess exotic animals to members of this party which were then hunted on private property.

    Rev Fred Nile (yes, the same guy who blames others in his office for looking at porn "for research) wants the new Ethics classes removed from NSW schools as they class with Scripture classes.

    All we're seeing from the various state AGs is "words of support" that don't mean anything because they're all too scared of upsetting groups like the Australian Christian Lobby. Talk is cheap!

    God dam I'm really liking Brendan O'Connor, calling the bullshit as it is

    This is just getting stupid now, how long is it going to take for this backward government to just do this?

    I'm moving back to England.

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