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Proposed Australian R18+ rating faces delays

New South Wales could abolish MA15+ rating regardless

The introduction of an R18+ rating to Australia to allow the release of more adult games, due to be discussed on Friday, could be delayed in the face of one state attorney general's position.

Greg Smith, the New South Wales attorney general, will abstain from the vote. The proposed R18+ rating needs a unanimous decision to progress.

According to GameSpot AU, Smith could abstain until as late as next year in order to see a report from the Australian Law Reform Commission on the introduction of the rating.

"We're not going down a definitive route," said a representative for Smith.

"More work needs to be done on this issue. We want to wait to see the results of the ALRC classification review."

There are also reports from South Australia attorney general John Rau's spokesperson that the state plans to abolish the lower MA15+ rating, forcing the ratings board to classify those games as R18. Both marketeers and the opposition have criticised the move.

"I think it would be bizarre if they were to go it alone," South Australia opposition justice spokesman Stephen Wade said in an interview with The Australian.

"It would be clearly an unfair impost on South Australian retailers at a time we are very aware of the competition between the online retail marker and the shopfront retail market."

Australia's strict rules have led to a number of games being refused classification altogether, including Left 4 Dead 2 and Mortal Kombat.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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