As you might expect Ron Curry over at the iGEA is as delighted as anyone about the news that the senate passed R18+ legislation without amendment but, in a statement just released, he expressed caution -- he believes it is now time to focus on "wider and more important issues".
“Key to this rating has always been the notion of harmonisation and while the amendments to the legislation are a true milestone, we need to be cognisant that we still require the timely support of all states and territories as well as workable guidelines to underpin a successful classification system," he said.
“One of the key arguments in this debate is that we need a consistent classification to better equip all consumers in an increasingly global environment and where the digital delivery of games is ubiquitous. It would be very counterproductive to start splintering the classification system now that an R18+ rating has been passed by the Senate.”
It's undoubtedly a statement in reference to the fact that each state must now legislate in order for the R18+ rating to come into effect. The issue is now consistency -- John Rau, the Attorney General for South Australia has already mentioned that he would like to abolish the MA15+ rating altogether, which may result in a splintered system of classification in different states. For the games industry in particular, for many different reasons, that is hardly an ideal situation. It's clear that the federal government is hoping for a clear, simple and consistent classification across the country, let's hope that the individual states involved help put that together quickly and concisely.
Ron also paid tribute to both Jason Clare and the previous Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor.
“We would also like to acknowledge the Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare as well as the previous Minister Brendan O’Connor who have both been pivotal in ensuring that this issue stayed on the agenda and was given due and proper consideration, despite some intensive lobbying from a small, yet vocal, percentage of the community,” he said.
“With an adult rating, we can now can now focus on the wider and more important issues that are impacting our classification system.”