Australian Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor wants to introduce the R18+ for games by mid-2011 and said today that he plans to push state and territory attorneys-general to accept the proposed guidelines and finally approve the adult classification. Or at least, that's what he is telling GameSpot.au.
O'Connor told GameSpot AU that he wants this issue resolved by July. A vote could have been possible in March if New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos did not have to skip the March SCAG meeting in March due to reelection activities.
"It would be optimistic to assume we would even get to the voting stage [on R18+] in March," O'Connor told GameSpot AU. "But we need to resolve this issue one way or another. From the Federal Government's point of view, we'd like the matter determined at the July SCAG meeting, regardless of which way it swings. We can’t continue to go back and forth on this. I can only keep presenting the arguments, and by then, all the ministers will be present, and everyone will have had a good chance to look at the issue properly and determine a final position."
"As far as GameSpot AU readers are concerned, we cannot make any sort of decision on the R18+ issue in March," he continued. "But I am determined to seek to get common ground among every minister to move ahead on this issue; in the end, the Commonwealth's position is that we need an R18+ classification for video games in this country. This is a sound argument insofar as doing the right thing and protecting minors; it is also a reasonable argument as it allows for adults to access material that is accessible by other adults in other countries; and it fits in with evolving changes in technology. So, [R18+ for games] is good public policy, and that’s what I’ll continue to say to people."
O'Conner added that those attending the March meeting could approve R18+ and the absent jurisdiction could affirm a position after the meeting. The chances of that happening are unlikely, in his opinion.
"As I understand, the NSW Opposition hasn’t made its views clear on R18+. However, if there is a strongly held view that R18+ should be introduced after the March SCAG meeting, I will be impressing this position upon whichever party that wins the NSW election. There will be great pressure on the party to carefully consider SCAG's position if it is recommending changes."
O'Connor added that he thinks that Australia could have an R18+ classification for games before the year is out.
"We can’t continue to have an outdated arrangement, which doesn’t reflect technological changes, just like we can't continue to deny the rights of adults. We simply can’t continue to justify the current arrangement," O'Connor said.
Source: GameSpot by way of cheater87