Anti-R18+ games campaigner quits as attorney-general

South Australian anti-game activist Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has quit the front bench post to "spend more time with his family", his replacement will be decided "in a week or two".

Randolph Ramsay
Randolph was previously a member of the CNET Australia team and now works for Gamespot.
Randolph Ramsay
2 min read

Labor politician Michael Atkinson has quit his position as South Australian attorney-general to "spend more time with his family" despite winning his seat of Croydon in the state election on the weekend.

Atkinson was the only one of Australia's state and federal attorneys-general to publicly state his opposition to the R18+ rating for games, the introduction of which requires the unanimous agreement of all attorneys-general.

With Atkinson now out of his position, attention has now turned to who his possible replacement will be and the possibility that an "adults-only" gaming classification can be created. GameSpot AU contacted the South Australian Attorney-General's office, with a spokesperson confirming that Atkinson had indeed relinquished his post.

As for the new minister, the spokesperson said: "That is for caucus to decide. It will probably be in about a week or two."

"It is true that Michael Atkinson will not run for the Attorney-General cabinet. He won his seat [in Croydon] very comfortably. Mr Atkinson has made this decision by himself. He wants to spend more time with his family as he has been here for 21 years and he wants to give younger backbenchers a shot in cabinet. He will retire from Parliament in 2014," the spokesperson said.

While the Liberal Opposition in South Australia had still not conceded defeat in the weekend's elections, most political pundits are confident that Labor will retain power in the state.

While Atkinson suffered a significant swing of 11.6 per cent against him in Croydon, it's unclear how much of that can be attributed to his long-standing feud with the gaming community in Australia.

Gamers4Croydon — the political party set up to specifically oppose Atkinson — scored only 3.7 per cent of the vote in Atkinson's electorate. While this was more than Family First or the Democrats, Gamers4Croydon's vote was well below Atkinson's, who polled 64.5 per cent of the total votes after preferences.