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Commonwealth of Australia
Flag of Australia.png
AnthemAdvance Australia Fair
CapitalCanberra
Largest city Sydney
National Language English
Demonym Australian, Aussie (informal)
Government
 -  Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Establishment 1901
Population
 -   estimate 22,820,803 
Currency Australian dollar

Australia is a country in the southern and eastern hemispheres and is a neighbour (but not a bordering country) to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia.

The country's OFLC provides the age classification of all media in the country, including Grand Theft Auto releases. The majority of the GTA series is rated MA15+ (for "Mature Audiences" over the age of 15), however some editions of the games have drawn the RC rating ("Refused Classification"). Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was famously re-rated after the Hot Coffee debacle, the OFLC changing its original MA15+ rating to RC. The re-release of San Andreas saw it obtain the MA15+ rating again, after the Hot Coffee material was edited out. Rockstar Games produced a different version of Grand Theft Auto IV for retail in the Australian/Kiwi market to meet Australian OFLC MA15+ guidelines. This meant there would be no blood pools forming beneath dead bodies, prostitute 'services' are shown from an obscuring angle (and no options are available), and injury decals are not shown on the protagonist or on NPCs when they are wounded. Copies of the game acquired from online retailers (Steam, Gamestop etc.) are the international version of the game, even if downloaded within Australia. The international version of GTA IV was eventually submitted for rating in New Zealand by a retailer, and was passed with an 18+ rating, allowing the uncensored version to be sold there.

Media that receive a "Refused Classification" rating are banned from sale; it is particularly easy for games to receive this rating, as there is no 18+ classification for games in the counrty. Games which do receive this rating must be edited to meet MA15+ standards to obtain an Australian release.

Note that the OFLC do not decide ratings policy, but merely enforce it -- changes to the classification system, such as providing an 18+ rating for games, must be authorised with a unanimous vote from every state attorney-general. The Attorney- General Michael Atkinson of South Australia is the lone opposing vote regarding an 18+ rating for video games.

In 2010 Micheal Atkinson stepped down from his seat as Attorney General and the R18+ rating was immediately put up for vote. All other Attorney General's voted yes for the rating except Greg Smith who abstained until a few weeks later. The law has since been passed and was implemented on January 1 2013 with the first game to be rated R Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for Wii U. Grand Theft Auto V is rated R18+ in the country which prevents minors from purchasing it.

Australia within the Grand Theft Auto games

3D Universe

In the 3D Universe, references are made to a war between the United States and Australia. It is first referenced in Grand Theft Auto III when a caller in Chatterbox FM, Colonel James P., talks about his experience in the Australian-American War, which Lazlow claims it did not happen. References appear in later GTA games, usually in Ammu-Nation commercials and radio advertisements. It can be presumed that Australia lost the war because the San Andreas Ammu-Nation radio promotions mention weapons "from when we whooped Australia's ass." Also in GTA San Andreas, a WCTR news report says that the government blames the earthquake that was said to be the reason of the closing of the bridges connecting Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas together were caused by Australians, which scientists claim is not true.

HD Universe

The HD Universe continue the references to the Australian-American War. A commercial for Babies Overnight adoption service mentions "...an Australian baby, which loves to play war but always loses." On the website "www.ilovetoblow.org." If the war was really still going on in GTA IV, then that would mean (because of it being first referenced in 1992, the setting of GTA: San Andreas), that it has or did go on for at least 16 years, being far longer than World War 1 or World War 2. However, the 3D Universe is not canon with the HD Universe.

Trivia

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