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Queensland's legislation delay could mean R18+ games can go on sale without restrictions

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Queenland delays R18 process

The Australian state of Queensland is likely to miss the Federal Government's Jan. 1 deadline for all states and territories to pass legislation to regulate the sale of games rated R18+, according to Hansard documents (an official transcript of everything said in parliament) spotted by Kotaku AU.

Australia passed legislation at a federal level to introduce an R18+ rating for video games earlier this year. Individual states and territories were then given a deadline of Jan. 1, 2013 to establish their own legislation to regulate sales of R18+ games. On Nov. 1, 2012, a member of parliament by the name of Ray Stevens moved a motion to have the Queensland government address the legislation by Feb. 7, 2013, effectively missing the deadline set by the Federal Government.

This means that Queensland is unlikely to meet the Jan. 1 deadline and will not have legislation to govern the sale of R18+ games until February at the earliest.

A spokesperson for the Classification Board told Kotaku AU that because the legislation pertains to the sale and display of R18+ games only, Queensland's lack of legislation is likely to mean that R18+ games will still be sold in the state — there simply will not be any laws regulating who can purchase the games and whether they can be displayed in parts of the store that are visible to minors.

Speaking to the Queensland Department of Justice, Kotaku AU also discovered that due to the R18+ classification being new, there is no legislation that prohibits the sale of R18+ games to minors because such a rating has never existed in Australia.

On Jan. 1, 2013, the R18+ classification will come into action and publishers will be able to begin submitting their games to The Classification Board consideration for the new rating. It is not yet known how long the process will take and when the first R18+ games will appear on the shelves of Australian retailers.