May 7, 2010
THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
R 18+ CLASSIFICATION FOR COMPUTER GAMES
CONSULTATION REPORT RELEASED
The Standing Committee of Attorneys General today agreed to release a status report following public consultation about whether Australia’s Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games.
Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor said: “The report released today shows the initial outcomes of the public consultation process which received approximately 60,000 submissions – an overwhelming level of response.”
Preliminary analysis indicates:
- approximately 98 per cent of submissions support an R18+ classification for computer games
- submissions were received individually by email (12 per cent), fax and post (2 per cent), as well as being delivered by retailer EB Games (59 per cent) and ‘Grow Up Australia’ (27 per cent), and
- a sample of approximately 24,000 submissions shows that while submissions were received in all age and both gender categories, the overwhelming majority were from males aged 18 to 34.
The status report also contains samples of frequent ‘free text’ comments and a summary of arguments raised by 34 community, church and industry groups who lodged submissions.
“It is not just the weight of numbers that need to be considered. It is also the strength of the arguments on each side. That is why Ministers today agreed that further work needs to be done before a decision can be made.”
“This issue is of considerable interest to Australians so the Government is releasing a status report on the consultation to ensure the community is kept well informed of its progress.”
“Censorship Ministers have not yet made a decision on whether or not an R 18+ classification for computer games should be introduced and have requested further analysis of community and expert views.”
“The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department continues to process and analyse submissions from the public consultation, so figures are preliminary and may change as the processing and analysis of submissions continues,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Thank you to the thousands of people who made a submission,” Mr O’Connor said.
“This feedback will play an important role in assisting Ministers to make a decision on this important public issue.”
The status report is available at www.ag.gov.au/gamesclassification.
Stakeholder submissions and samples of submissions received from individuals will also be made available on this website.