Former Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor, a staunch supporter of R18+ for games in Australia, was today renamed minister for Human Services and minister assisting the School Education. He'll be replaced by former Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare. Naturally he'll inherit his portfolio of issues including the R18+ ratings classification for games.
O'Connor announced federal government support for R18+ for games in December 2010. Earlier this year, O'Connor released the first draft guidelines on R18+ and said that he might seek other options if state and territory censorship ministers failed to reach consensus on the issue. In July this year, Australia's federal, state, and territory censorship ministers finally reached an "in-principle agreement" to introduce the R18+ classification.
Last month, O'Connor released the final guidelines on R18+ for games, and said that he planned to introduce the R18+ legislation in the February 2012 parliament session.
While O'Connor publicly stated his support for a change in the ratings, the R18+ issue has been on the Australian government's agenda since 2002. Hopefully Jason Clare will continue O'Connor's work and see it to completion in 2012.