R18+ bill to go before Australian Government in February
Ministerial reshuffle doesn't affect mature games rating decision date
The Australian Government will debate and vote upon the issue of an R18+ video games classification in February, dispelling fears that a recent cabinet reshuffle may have delayed the issue,.
Formerly, ex-Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor had responsibility for the bill, and had been pushing for a vote on the subject for some time, despite a number of delays. O'Connor was also a vocal public supporter of the need for an R18+ category.
During the ministerial reshuffle, O'Connor was moved to a new role as minister for Human Services, with ex-Defence Materiel minister Jason Clare taking responsibility for the office of home affairs - which includes the censorship bill in its purview.
Speaking to GamespotAUClare has now confirmed that the bill will still be decided in the country's first parliamentary session of the new year, beginning on February 7. If the bill passes the lower house, it will then proceed to a final decision in the Senate.
The bill has already been approved in principle by state governments and a Senate majority, so some see the debate as a formality.
In order to pass, the bill needs the support of at least two of five floating crossbench MPs, who have all remained private in their thoughts on the matter.
However, supporters are confident that the bill will move as far as the Senate, where it is thought to have enough support among the minority parties to pass.