According to the Australian government, gamers in the country can expect the adult-level R18+ classification for video games to be in place by January 1, 2013 (thanks to Cheater87). As promised, Federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare introduced the R18+ bill in parliament yesterday and announced that the federal government expects the R18+ for games legislation to officially come into effect next year.
"This will bring the classification categories for computer games into line with existing categories used to classify films and make the Australian classification regime more consistent with international standards," Clare told parliament. "This reform has been a long time coming. Agreement to introduce an R18+ category has been reached after 10 years of negotiations with the states and territories. Over these 10 years, the Australian computer game industry has grown–along with the number of Australian computer gamers."
Clare told parliament that R18+ will be introduced at the federal level first, followed by states and territories.
"A lot of Australians are passionate about this reform. This bill will implement the Commonwealth's obligations as part of this agreement–and state and territory jurisdictions will follow with their own legislation later this year," said Clare. "It is anticipated that the Act provided for in this Bill will come into effect on the first of January next year."
Clare later told GameSpot Australia that the bill's early 2013 date would give lawmakers enough time to pass the bill in both houses and then give states and territories enough wiggle room to craft their own complimentary legislation.