Victoria Govt: We’re not scrapping MA15+, “progressing” with R18+ changes

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Image: Shaun Greiner/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Victorian Attorney-General’s office has finally responded to two simple questions that we sent them back in March, Yes, it has taken them this long to actually come up with a response, but gamers can sleep a little bit easier as they have confirmed to us that they will not be scrapping the MA15+ when they introduce the amendments to their classification law.

“Victoria has no plans to remove the MA15+ computer games category in this state,” the Attorney-General’s office confirmed in a letter.

Why is this a big deal? Well, South Australia’s own Attorney-General John Rau – incidentally from the Labor Party – has indicated that he would scrap the MA15+ classification whilst supporting the R18+ campaign. That would create some discrepancy for selling video games, as any game with “MA15+” would be automatically pushed to R18+ for South Australia gamers.

New South Wales have noted its opposition and concerns, and could potentially adopt similar changes (though, they have not publicly stated that they will do such a thing). Queensland, however, looks bleaker according to Dusty Cartridge, with the state’s LNP-controlled government could reject it entirely due to Campbell Newman’s strong relationship with the crazy Australian Christian Lobby. (When the 2011 in-principle agreement was signed to create this new classification, it was Labor’s government that saw it through)

It appears Victoria has missed that – which is good.

The office has also confirmed that the state is working its way in passing the laws sometime before January 1, where the federal laws are to come into effect. If no state has passed the laws, then they cannot be sold within the states (importing, however, would not).

“Victoria is currently progressing amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Enforcement) Act 1995 to regulate R18+ computer games,” the Attorney-General’s office said.

“It is anticipated that these amendments will come on 1 January 2013, to coincide with the Commonwealth legislation introducing the new classification category.”

A date on when it will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament was not given, however we expect it to be when the Parliament resumes sitting on

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