Canberra Sets Aside $526,000 For R18+ Inspections

Buried in the ACT's recently released state budget for 2012-2013 is a brand new initiative — an initiative designed to monitor and report retailers who will be selling R18+ video games when the proposed classification comes into full effect, hopefully at some point in 2012.

According to the budget, $121,000 will be set aside in 2012-2013, with that figure increasing across the subsequent three years: $133,000 in 2013-2014, $135,000 in 2014-2015, and $137,000 in 2015.2016. It could be the case that this initiative is a constant one.

According to the budget, this initiative is designed to "facilitate" the "inspection of outlets expected to be providing R18+ video games for sale or hire", and to help with "mandatory reporting to the Commonwealth Government on inspection and enforcement activity within the classifications sphere".

Interesting, for nothing else but the fact that the ACT State Government expects the R18+ classification to come into effect in this coming year — else why allocate almost the same amount of funds allocated to the program in subsequent years.

It also gives us an insight into the close attention government will be paying to the R18+ rating for video games in the next four years. It's not specific to games — there are similar inspectors in other areas of media, specifically porn. If anything, it's proof that state government is taking the R18+ rating seriously, and that, pretty soon, it's going to be a very real thing.

Thanks Ryan!

Comments states: "Once passed by the Senate, the Bill will commence on 1 January 2013. This will give the States and Territories enough time to amend their own classification legislation to allow for R18+ computer games."

      I guess the funding covering this year could be towards planning and preparation of this sort of task.

      I'm guessing this funding is basically going to cover one person doing the run around for this job. It seems like too small a number to be much else.

        Yeah, most likely it's the salary and expenses for one person.

          $526,000? Where do I apply?!?!

            As a Government nerd (I’m supposed to be working on a similarly structured national reform project instead of writing this), you can bet your ass that some states are going to have trouble getting application legislation through their parliaments even after it is passed in the Commonwealth.
            While the Federal Government relies on far left leaning knobs to help prop up the Government many of the states are reliant on (or at least supportive of) knobs of the far right leaning variety.
            NSW in particular has a parliament (and spineless Premier) in which the upper house could prove troublesome. This is the kind of thing that Fred Nile goes nutty for.

    So half the stuff shown at E3 might actually get thru?

      I know games currently refused classification are unlikely to be reclassified and made available for sale, but I really hope once we have an R18+ rating I can safely import a copy of Syndicate, or copies turn up in JB Hi-Fi now that they're doing imports. I know it wasn't very good but damn it, I want to check it out!

        JB still wouldn't be allowed to sell them if they haven't been given a local classification. Import or not.

          A completely valid point. I'm an idiot.

            Not an idiot at all, I don't think JB would have a hope in hell of selling RC games though. Even OGS has suddenly stopped selling RC games without giving a reason. Amazon doesn't seem to be exporting RC games to Australia any more either. Is there anywhere left that does?

              I use PlayAsia for my imports and they don't seem to care what games I buy. I imported Mortal Kombat fairly recently without any issues. The only problem you might have is region protection because they generally only stock US, Japanese or Asian games but if your system is region-free then import away :)

              I bought Syndicate from mightyape NZ. Luckily it passed through customs. A friend got his mate to bring back it and mortal kombat. MK made it through but customs took Syndicate, didn't search all the bags.

        It would make for a good 'launch' if distributors made a collective effort to get a handful of RC titles reclassified in time for the start of 2013. Syndicate, Mortal Kombat... maybe the unaltered version of L4D2?

          A good idea, but one that would be detrimental to the publishers. In regards to L4D2 in particular, that game is quite old at this point and most Aus gamers who wanted to play it will have. The sales met would likely not even equate to the cost of having it reclassified. MK and Syndicate maybe, but I doubt the publishers would actually bother just because of the age of the games

    Typo - the ACT State govt is usually just called the ACT Govt. Usually not refered to as the state govt seeing as its not a state.

      It was probably added to clarify in case people thought Mark was suggesting the federal government.

      Not that I had to re-read the sentence or anything...

        I was going to say the same thing and it's a sensible clarification to make while technically inaccurate, but I guess if people are talking about Federal level government they'll say Federal, not ACT, or they'll specify "Canberra". I mean I'm sure the "ACT Government" work in Canberra too, but people more freely associate Canberra as the nation's capital.

          Clearly you're underestimating my level of stupidity...


    Once it's in we'll just have to wait and see which states get shafted - SA I'm looking at you.

      SA will probably pass some legislation that R18+ games can only be sold in sex shops, between the double ended dildos and gimp masks.

        Well they are abolishing the MA rating for games here once the R comes in. So anything MA rated will automatically get upper to R in SA.

          Wasn't it implied that was the only difference? Not so much that RC games would be classified but that the MA category would be replaced with an R18+ category? That was my understanding anyways. At least I'm glad that I haven't heard about the ACL in regards to an R18+ rating recently. As Banksy said - "People who should be shot: Fascist thugs, religious fundamentalists, people who write lists telling you who should be shot."

    The whole R rating thing doesn't faze me any more. I import all my games from PlayAsia & Ozgamezshop. There are so many websites out there where you can purchase RC games. I have never had any of my RC games seized, it's so rare that it's not even worth worrying about. Syndicate and Mortal Kombat are my most recent RC purchases hehe.

    I've accepted that Australia is a laughable nanny state and that we are overcharged to the point of absurdity. It's just pointless to buy locally - All PS3 games are region free and if a 360 game is region locked you can just buy it from Europe or New Zealand. There are other online stores aside from OGS & Playasia, so if they don't have want you want just look elsewhere. i.e,, etc. There's also eBAY :)

    tl;dr version - I don't care about censorship laws anymore and will continue to buy overseas even after the R rating is implemented.

      I only import via ozgameshop (I've used play-asia in the past but wasn't really all that happy with them - just my preference). Unfortunately ozgameshop recently pulled Syndicate and all other RC titles from their catalogue. I know I could go to play-asia and I probably will at some point, then again customs seem to be tightening up on this somewhat.

      OGS doesn't sell RC games anymore so that's one avenue that's closed.

      Overpriced nanny state. Well said.

    I had a quick look at that everyone keeps mentioning. I thought half the idea of buy games from sights like that was to get them cheaper? $79 for Sniper Elite V2 on PC!!!! It only costs $49 on Steam

    Oh australia, prepare for the fall.. All we are going to see is a rating upscale on current standards. Eg left for dead 3 will still be edited and cut to the current MA rating, just re labelled with R. We are not getting a relax on RC's because aus is full of ignorant fun police, I can buy X rated grannie bukkake porn, but not play interactive cinema style violence

    More boat people get to our shores than rc games, although i did buy to mk9 special editions from amazon back in the day and they got through. Mind you the boxes were 2 foot long each cause of the book ends if sub and scorps

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