Australian Christian Lobby | December 05, 2010
Attorney General John Rau has left the door open to South Australia supporting R18+ classifications for video games. The move would reverse the State Government's long-standing opposition to adults-only games.The Federal Government will push the classifications at Friday's Attorneys-General meeting. The change needs the agreement of all attorneys-general across the country, The Advertiser reported. "I don't have a closed mind to the R18+, but whatever model comes out of it, for me to be comfortable with it, it would need to clearly enhance the protection offered to children," Mr Rau said.
Online freedom advocates say the introduction of an adults-only classification for video and computer games will protect children from explicit material, rather than allow more into Australia. Currently games classed above MA15+ are refused classification and cannot be brought into the country legally. The Federal Government announced that it supports a push for an R18+ category, with a meeting of the country's attorneys-general to make the final decision on Friday. Colin Jacobs from online advocacy group Electronic Frontiers Australia says the classification system needs a revamp.
Julia Gillard's Labor Federal Government today revealed it would support the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games at the upcoming meeting of state and federal attorneys-general on this Friday 10 December. The lack of an R18+ classification system has resulted in various popular video games — such as Left 4 Dead 2 — being censored for the Australia market or refused classification so that they are unable to be sold locally. Some game publishers have been forced to modify their games prior to release in Australia, meaning some local releases have been delayed. The Federal Attorney-General’s Department has been conducting an ongoing investigation by the Attorney-General’s Department into whether Australia needed an R18+ classification scheme for video games, with a report last week finding that current research into the effects of violent video games on aggression levels of those who play them was “contested and inconclusive”.
The West Australian attorney general will come under pressure from his own party room to block moves to introduce a R 18+ classification for video games. The Federal Government signalled it would push for changes to Australia's video game classification system, which would see the MA15+ rating replaced by R18+ as the country's most restrictive classification. The issue will come up for discussion at the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) meeting, where Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor needs to secure unanimous support from the states. WA Attorney-General Christian Porter is yet to determine the government's position, with his spokeswoman saying he would decide after the meeting.
It is a sweltering, tropical night in an unnamed city. Riley Harry-Blackall swings his M16 and fires a short burst, stitching a tight pattern of holes into a lurking Vietnamese soldier's chest. He runs over and ''tea-bags'' his fallen opponent, bouncing up and down on the bloodied corpse. Then he laughs with sudden self-awareness. ''This is not a very good life lesson,'' he admits. Riley is a smart, articulate 12-year-old with a mop of ginger hair and a game controller. Tonight he's killing and being killed from a beanbag in his sparse, undecorated Brunswick bedroom. His vehicle of choice for this bloodletting is a high-definition Sony TV and Call of Duty: Black Ops, currently the biggest-selling video game in the world.
While Australia has not yet had its first case of a doctor and/or a hospital being sued for inadequate pain management, there have been several successful cases in the US and it can be only a matter of time before the first case appears in the Australian courts. In fact, it could be sooner rather than later based on some recent examples I have observed with my colleagues, where inadequate pain management for terminally ill older people and a refusal to follow the instructions of their legally authorised decision makers have placed treating medical practitioners, nurses and hospitals at risk of a lawsuit. In one case, a daughter said: "Mum always said she wouldn't want to be resuscitated if her heart stopped, but they wouldn't listen."
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has not ruled out putting the Australian Greens last on how-to-vote cards for the next federal election. It was a controversial preferences tactic employed by now-Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, which some first thought had thrown Labor a lifeline in a tight electoral contest. But amid calls within the party to adopt it as national policy, Mr Abbott could not rule out doing the same. "He made that decision about preferences 13 days before the election, and I suspect that well before the next federal election you will know what we're doing,'' Mr Abbott told ABC Television this morning.
The crusading triangle of cruelty between Islam, Christianity and Judaism is now being played out in an important but esoteric dispute in the UN. This time, we atheists are really the good guys. For more than a decade, there has been a UN debate about the criticising of faith. The 56-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) wants the freedom to have its way with its critics. The OIC is comfortable allowing sovereign nations to have a role in stamping out such criticism. The debate concerns a proposed resolution denouncing the ‘‘defamation of religion’’. In 2009, after 10 years of debate, a resolution was carried in the UN Human Rights Commission with the OIC countries gaining support from Latin America, Africa and others. The resolution exhorts member states to respect the practices of faith.
Victorian Labor will consider putting the Greens last on its how-to-vote cards at future elections, as payback for the minor party's role in the Brumby government's shock defeat. Senior ALP figures, furious at the Greens' assault on the ALP's inner-city heartland, want Labor's election review panel to look at ways to destroy the minor party's prospects of winning seats in the lower house. Veteran Labor minister Bronwyn Pike, who survived a bitter fight against the Greens for her seat of Melbourne, has told The Age it is time for the ALP to look at following the Liberals' lead and put the Greens last. ''That will have to be a discussion, because they [the Greens] are no friends of ours,'' she said.
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