Unknown replaces SA Attorney-General Atkinson


A back-bencher politician whose views on the video game industry are relatively unknown has been appointed to replaced outgoing South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson.

Atkinson resigned from the role — but not from parliament — over the weekend in the wake of ongoing public criticism and a voter backlash in his seat of Croydon in Saturday’s state election.

The Labor politician has for some time stood in the way of lobbying efforts by the video game industry and gamers themselves to create an R18+ classification for games in Australia. In addition, he has faced criticism over his defence of legislation requiring online political comment during state elections to be accompanied by personal details.

Today SA Premier Mike Rann, claiming victory in the election, revealed backbencher John Rau (pictured) as Atkinson’s replacement. Rau’s views on the R18+ classification are not yet widely known, but some have claimed he is a supporter of the R18+ classificaton.

“New SA Attorney-General is John Rau, a supporter of the R18+ classification for games (and a nice guy, to boot),” wrote Chris Prior on Twitter today. Prior is president of Gamers4Croydon, a political party supporting the R18+ classification which ran for office in Atkinson’s electorate and the state legislative council.

And Australian Gamer has reported that Rau brought the issue up in parliament. However, often if politicians ask other politicians from their own party a question in parliament, the question is asked to give a politician a chance to air their own views. Such questions are known as ‘Dorothy Dixers’.

According to his parliamentary site, Rau is married with three children, and is a “keen gardener, cook and avid reader of non-fiction”.

“John attained a Law Degree, worked as a Solicitor at law firm Duncan & Hannon and later at Johnston Withers & Associates where he was made a partner,” the site states.

It also notes Rau was an advisor to the Hawke Government between 1985 and 1988, and has been a barrister since 1997. He is a former member of the ALP National Executive and is a member of “various parliamentary committees”.