While Australia’s Standing Committee of Attorney Generals (SCAG) did hold a meeting yesterday to discuss a variety of topics, including, presumably, the lack of an R18+ videogame rating in the country, one AG was unable to attend the gathering, meaning that no decision could be made.
Any changes or decision require a full consensus of Attorney Generals, and Delia Lawrie, AG from the Northern Territory, was unable to attend due to “Treasury portfolio responsibilities,” according to a note on the Gamers4Croydon Facebook page.
The AU government did release a summation of submissions received (PDF) in response to its Discussion Paper on the R18+ subject. Approximately 60,000 submissions were received in all, with 12.0 percent sent by email and 2.0 percent sent by snail mail. Petitions from EB Games and Grow Up Australia contributed a whopping 59.0 percent and 27.0 percent respectively.
Around 98.2 percent of the submissions were pro R18+.
A section of the report lists pro and anti-R18+ organizations, in which GamePron noticed an unlikely supporter of the measure, the Australian Catholic Bishops:
The Australian Catholic Bishops (ACB) state that their preferred position is that R 18+ material would not be available in Australia. However, as material is currently available despite its illegality, it would be preferable to introduce an R18+ classification category for computer games so that access to such material, particularly by children, can be restricted.
Opposition groups included the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Catholic Women’s League Australia, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) and the Australian Family Association (Western Australian Branch).
Pro-R18+ groups included Fox Interactive Media Australia, the Australian Computer Society and Civil Liberties Australia.