Australian R18+ Bill Hits a Snag

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Australian R18+ Bill Hits a Snag

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Australia's quest for an R18+ videogame rating has hit another speedbump as the bill brought before Parliament has been referred to another inquiry.

I'm starting to think that what we're seeing in Australia's stumbling shuffle to a functional videogame rating system is not actually an irrational fear of the future but rather the longest-running and most elaborate legislative troll ever perpetrated by a modern Western government. How else can you possibly explain these bizarre shenanigans? Immediately after the bill to amend the Classification Act finally came before Parliament, the first step in what will still be a relatively drawn-out process to get the legislation passed, it was referred to yet another committee for further examination.

The news came by way of Member of Parliament Ed Husic, who tweeted, "After we finally intro'd the R+18 Video Game laws to Parliament today, this arvo the Coalition referred the Bill to yet ANOTHER inquiry!" [An Australian-to-English Google translation revealed that "this arvo" means "this afternoon."]

According to Kotaku Australia, if just a single MP calls for an inquiry on a bill, it must be sent to a Standing Committee for deeper scrutiny. On the upside, these inquiries are usually fast-tracked and handled by people with knowledge of the proposed legislation in order to minimize any delays, so with any luck it'll be given a quick once-over and sent back.

"People will want to move quickly," Husic said, perhaps optimistically. " It could be one day inquiry and get it over and done with, the committee may just refer it straight back."

But if the bill ends up the subject of a full inquiry, the delay will be substantially longer. "First they have to call for public submissions - again," he continued. "They may hold a public hearing based on the submission. Then they have to draft a report, the Committee has to agree to that report and then they submit it back to Parliament."

And while it's possible that everything could be wrapped up in a month, Husic noted that the Australian Parliament doesn't sit in April, which could lead to even further delays.

It seems very unlikely that will happen, as like it or not, previous inquiries have been overwhelmingly in favor of the amendment and it's clearly time to get on with it. But as we've seen previously, opponents of the rating do draw some political water and may choose to continue the fight. Husic suggested that Australians who don't want to see the matter bogged down should contact their MPs about it. "If people want this inquiry to move quickly," he said, "they should make their voices heard on the issue."

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Somehow I'm not really surprised despite thinking they'd not manage to delay it further at this point. I hope it goes over quickly and doesn't get as bogged down as it might get...

Mother of God, they have to make this as painful as humanly possible don't they?

Halyah:
Somehow I'm not really surprised despite thinking they'd not manage to delay it further at this point. I hope it goes over quickly and doesn't get as bogged down as it might get...

Can't say I'm surprised either, but I thinking this inquiry will be quickly done and go into voting.

oh for fucks...WHAT NOW? SHALL WE DOUBLE CHECK THE SPELLING OF THE BILL TOO? or maybe we can make it so that it is written in british english instead of australian english? OR PIG LATIN MAYBE? i swear if i was a big publisher developer with want to invest on australia id just go on a hearing to the parliament and say "if you dont want our multi billion business in your country, we'll just leave then".

bunch of morons.

I was just wondering when we'd get an update on poor old Aus. Starts feeling weird if we go a few weeks without learning about this bill being halted again.

Well, there is one good thing about the bill being delayed.....I'll most likely be 18 by the time they decide on it.

Sigh. Yet another Member of Parliament who is in the Australian Christian Lobby's (ACL) pocket. Most of the Christians I know here in Aus think the ACL are a bunch of nutters.

Of course the bill "hits a snag". The snag is it's trying to get past this joke of a government.

Wow Australia, hoe does your democracy actually stay functional? How does anything ever get done if badly needed legislation can get bounced-back like this? Get your shit together guys, this has gone BEYOND embarrassing. It seems that there is an undercurrent of AU law makers that, beyond all logic and reasonable arguments, are still trying everything to sabotage this bill.

You can't get your way so you just delay the bill almost indefinitely? Hoe can you be allowed the do that?

Wow, Australia's parliament is almost as bad the U.S. congress. Almost.

Edit: To clarify I meant that the Australian parliament is better then the U.S. congress.

Not sure I see the difficulty in the concept in general. Its part of the democratic process - its designed to make sure (or at least reduce the chance that) any proposed bills will not have unintended consequences regarding other legislation. In this situation I don't think it has much of an impact - what's another couple of days (best case) or even a couple of months?

I'm a bit lost, is it delaying a ban on 18 rated games, or delaying a reasonable system allowing them to be rated then sold in Oz?

If it's delaying a ban, I'd like one of the folks involved to go in every day for the next 20 years and demand a new inquiry :)

"With respect to all here, I'd like to make an inquiry into the reasoning behind this bill and how much it sucks balls... same time tomorrow then?"

Tedious drawn out bureaucracy the hallmark of western democracy :P

RagingNinja:
Not sure I see the difficulty in the concept in general. Its part of the democratic process - its designed to make sure (or at least reduce the chance that) any proposed bills will not have unintended consequences regarding other legislation. In this situation I don't think it has much of an impact - what's another couple of days (best case) or even a couple of months?

Pretty much this.

Hang in there our Aussie brethren you'll get your 18+ certification eventually.

politicians are most dangerous when they have nothing to do. and that's exactly what australian politics is all about right now. our economy is remarkably stable for the times we're in, and... just... nothing needs doing. nothing needs fixing right now.
the last 20 years of politics in australia have revolved around the process of calling for an overhaul of australia's government organisations, saying that they'll work better if all pulled back together, only so and indeed BECAUSE they will then say, no they need need to be spread out and work independantly. that's it, that's how the whole government works. it's built on an infinite loop with the soul purpose of wasting time and making it look like the government's doing something.

Well, as a proud Australian, if I may say this for all Australians; FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

Scrumpmonkey:
Wow Australia, hoe does your democracy actually stay functional? How does anything ever get done if badly needed legislation can get bounced-back like this?

"Badly needed"? It's a good idea, sure, but it doesn't particularly matter, why is why people are content to see it bounced back and forth like this.

A small amount of gamers are in favour of it, a small amount of conservatives are against it, and the vast majority of people don't particularly care at all.

If this was in anyway deemed important, it would have been solved years ago. Even at the best of times, there'd be more pressing issues people were worried about, with the GFC still going on, and war brewing in the Middle East (again) few people are going to get up in arms about video game classifications.

Andy Chalk:
....the longest-running and most elaborate legislative troll ever perpetrated by a modern Western government.

This is just about the best description I've heard of this yet. It's no secret that our government is a group of unorganised, indecisive fucks, but at this point I'm sure even they don't know why they're still trying to put it off.

thaluikhain:

Scrumpmonkey:
Wow Australia, hoe does your democracy actually stay functional? How does anything ever get done if badly needed legislation can get bounced-back like this?

"Badly needed"? It's a good idea, sure, but it doesn't particularly matter, why is why people are content to see it bounced back and forth like this.

A small amount of gamers are in favour of it, a small amount of conservatives are against it, and the vast majority of people don't particularly care at all.

If this was in anyway deemed important, it would have been solved years ago. Even at the best of times, there'd be more pressing issues people were worried about, with the GFC still going on, and war brewing in the Middle East (again) few people are going to get up in arms about video game classifications.

Yeah I agree with this. When I first saw this my first thought was "Oh for fuck's sake!"
Then I went and checked if there was any news about Syria.

At the moment, these inquiries are a non issue. The bill will enter legislation on January 1st 2013, so as long as all inquiries are completed prior to the last parliament meeting before this date there wont be a problem.

Even if we do get this bill through, not much will change... the same games will be banned on our shores still (aka the new Syndicate) just our current MA games will be bumped up to r18+ with little to no additional content left in.

Oh well... just need some new blood i guess. Maybe things will look up... maybe once they are done with this they can fix our public education system? Or maybe our Nurses and Midwives can get some love... or maybe we can stop selling Uranium to unstable foreign governments...

Maybe...

/dream

A DINGO ATE MY RATING!
Why did they ever set-up the approval system to be this easily differed? Give me good old fashioned American bribery, scare tactics and buried riders for pork spending any day.

sheep bah cows moo and Australia delays the 18+ rating.

zidine100:
sheep bah cows moo and Australia delays the 18+ rating.

This is the best post of the thread.

OT:

Well, that's unfortunate I suppose. But yeah. zidine speaks the truth.

Andy Chalk:
Australian R18+ Bill Hits a Snag

[snip]

...An Australian-to-English Google translation revealed that "this arvo" means "this afternoon."

You'll also find that "snag" is Australian vernacular for a sausage
... the implications of which should be self-evident.
:P

I think I speak for everyone when I say:

Also, this was good:

[An Australian-to-English Google translation revealed that "this arvo" means "this afternoon."]

I have a feeling the world will end the day after we get an R18+ rating.

"[An Australian-to-English Google translation revealed that "this arvo" means "this afternoon."]"

Oh, come on! We speak better English than you yobs!

Also, when the legislation goes to enquiry, it goes quickly. It'll be in by January 2013.

Antitonic:
Of course the bill "hits a snag". The snag is it's trying to get past this joke of a government.

Wait, you're going to blame the sitting government for the actions of an opposition MP? Or are you attacking the system of Parliament?

MercurySteam:

Andy Chalk:
....the longest-running and most elaborate legislative troll ever perpetrated by a modern Western government.

This is just about the best description I've heard of this yet. It's no secret that our government is a group of unorganised, indecisive fucks, but at this point I'm sure even they don't know why they're still trying to put it off.

Because a Coalition MP wins points with the Christian Lobby by doing so. No reason other than the MP who referred it to inquiry is a dick.

shameduser:
Wow, Australia's parliament is almost as bad the U.S. congress. Almost.

The difference being, our government trolls us by griping over trivial things like this, while taking a back-seat to U.S party line on important issues. Hooray for democracy.

octafish:

Antitonic:
Of course the bill "hits a snag". The snag is it's trying to get past this joke of a government.

Wait, you're going to blame the sitting government for the actions of an opposition MP? Or are you attacking the system of Parliament?

I don't really know. I just get fed up with the system sometimes. You read these articles that come out, and it seems that people argue for the sake of it. Almost like they're saying no because the other guy said yes.

Not just this, but other things as well.

Anyone who's ever seen our politicians in action would know that they're retarded. It's worrying that these people are actually in charge of anything, let alone something as important as an entire freaking country.

The only reason I can think of for why this is getting dragged out so long is that our politicians have run out of things to do. I don't pay much atention to politics but they don't appear to actually be doing much. Maybe it's just media spin but everytime parliment is mentioned in the news it's just another phase of the poo-flinging contest between two teams of retarded howler monkeys.

I think writing them off as trolls would be giving them too much credit.

shameduser:
Wow, Australia's parliament is almost as bad the U.S. congress. Almost.

Except that back in the 90's the Australian government put certain policies in place, which is why we avoided a recession when America didn't

SenseOfTumour:
I'm a bit lost, is it delaying a ban on 18 rated games, or delaying a reasonable system allowing them to be rated then sold in Oz?

Its the latter. Our ratings system as it currently stands is why we got a dumbed down version of 'left 4 dead 2' and why games like the latest 'Mortal Kombat' are outright banned.

This legislation has been delayed and side tracked for.... I think over 5 years now, despite overwhelming public support of the amendment. Look up "Michael Atkinson" and you will find the bulk of our troubles on this. He no longer has his position anymore so that helps.

As for this piece of news, why the hell do they need this? Another fucking inquiry is just going to yield the same results AGAIN. Like the article says the politicians should GET ON WITH IT! Its becoming clear that the only way this is going to pass is if we literally give them no option left.

God i hate this world i live in sometimes.

whenever i think about the australian rating system, this image:

image

pops in the back of my head.

no you can't play that. *ABSORB OR RECAPTURE!*

the whole world has 18+ rating for ages, and they still cant decide if games should have it as well?
i might be 60 before they issue a 18+ rating.

what a bunch of idiots.

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