Based on the Minister’s media release, I thought we’d make an initial response and give some consideration to a more detailed reply later:
We are pleased that this issue was included on the agenda for today’s Standing Committee of Attorney’s General meeting. As evidenced in the Attorney General’s status report, there is overwhelming interest and support of the issue, with over 98 per cent of responses in favour of the R18+ classification.
The iGEA has been very supportive of the Government’s commitment to a thorough examination of all of the perspectives on the classification and, along with a wide range of individuals, industry bodies, academics and community groups, the iGEA made its submission as part of what appeared to be an exhaustive and detailed public consultation period. We are somewhat bemused therefore when the Minister stated that Censorship Ministers have “requested further analysis of community and expert views.”
Further, we are concerned that it is noted in the Attorney General’s media release that “Ministers today agreed that further work needs to be done before a decision can be made.” There is undeniably strong support for the introduction of an adult classification for video games across a wide section of the community. (In fact, the recent petition arranged by GAME illustrates that there is a high level of resonance and support on this issue, with more petitioners engaging in this issue than for the petition opposing WorkChoices.) Our understanding that this was the very reason for the Discussion Paper launched in December, and call for the Attorney General’s Department to immediately commit to a reasonable and transparent timeline and process to resolve the issue.