It is now official. Australia now has an adults-only R18+ rating for video games after the Senate passed the bill without any changes at 8:26PM tonight (Monday 18th June). The House of Representatives already passed the bill in March, and it appears that like the House, all parties supported the bill.
Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Jason Clare, is happy with the Senate’s passing.
“These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,” he noted in a media briefing. “The R 18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material.”
“The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.”
With federal law now already changed, focus is now on all the states to change their classification laws. While the power to classify material is a federal power, the states are the ones to enforce the law. Typically, the states usually are aligned with their laws, but there have been hints in South Australia and New South Wales where there could be discrepancies.
However, just like the X18+ rating, the law does mean that if any state does not change their laws to allow R18+ video games to be sold, you can always get it from Canberra or Darwin since it is legal.
But for now, let’s just celebrate.
The new law is to come into force on January 1 next year.