AUS: Atkinson steps down

The man who many see as the main barrier to Australia’s introduction of a R18+ ratings certificate, Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, is to leave Parliamant in 2014.

Atkinson has been involved in a number of controversies over his two decades in Government, the most recent of which is his resolute stance on video games violence – a personal policy that has seen him come in for criticism from all parts of Australian society, including games retail.

Many will hope that the news will finally pave the way for the introduction of reform to video games age ratings in the country.

Atkinson insists that the decision is personal, and is not related to either the criticism levelled toward him or the threats against his life received last year.

I have had 20 years in Parliament,” he told AdelaideNow.

I think there ought to be renewal in the ministry. I think there are talented people on the Labor backbench who deserve a go. I don’t think we want all the ministry leaving in a bunch about 2014 and so it’s important that renewal be staged.”

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