The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) has proposed subjecting mobile games apps to the same censorship rules as other online content for at least the next two years.
The proposal sent industry bodies including the interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) and Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) scrambling for clarification of the regulatory implications.
It appeared the proposal would enable members of the public to lodge complaints about mobile games content to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) using the same process as was used to complain about objectionable content on the internet.
"Under this proposal, Ministers discussed the issue and will consider it further out-of-session before finalising an agreement," a SCAG representative told iTNews.
"The proposal is to treat mobile and online games similar to online content. Further details will be released once agreement is reached."
An AMTA spokesman told iTnews the association's policy was "that there should only be regulation of content where there was a perceived need to protect the public or maintain widely held standards or a demonstrated need to protect minors."
"The vast majority of content available from mobile applications does not warrant classification by a national classification scheme," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said there was no case for the interim change.
IGEA chief Ron Curry was likewise reviewing the SCAG communiqué and seeking clarification on some of the points it raised.
The proposal would be subject to a sunset clause of up to two years to take on board the Australian Law Reform Commission's review of classification and censorship, due before the end of the year.
There would be no change to the treatment of online and mobile games that were refused classification.