Monday, 29 July 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government is on the side of Australian families who want to keep their children safe online?
I thank the member for Braddon and congratulate him on his very strong first speech last week. He is a member with a strong interest in keeping Australians safe online, and he is on the side of the Australian people when it comes to keeping Australians safe online, particularly when comes to keeping children safe online.
The Australian people know that the internet has brought huge benefits, but they are equally concerned about children being exposed to cyberbullying, about children being exposed to abhorrent, violent or pornographic material online and about how we can keep children and older Australians, indeed all Australians, safe online. Australians expect that the law will apply to maintain public safety when people interact in the physical town square, and they also expect that the law will apply when people interact in the digital town square. That is the Morrison government's expectation of social media platforms, of search engines and of websites, whether hosted in Australia or around the world. If your services are accessed by Australians, you must comply with Australian law.
Our Liberal-National government has a very strong track record when it comes to the question of online safety. In 2015, we established the office of the world's first Children's eSafety Commissioner. We legislated a takedown regime for cyberbullying material directed at Australian children. In 2017, we expanded the eSafety commissioner's remit to include all Australians. We introduced a civil penalty regime for image based abuse online. We have a strong track record, and we have strong plans for further reforms to help keep Australians safe online, including introducing a new online safety act, adopting an online safety charter setting out our clear expectations and holding digital platforms to account through the recommendations of our task force to combat terrorism and extreme, violent material online.
So we have a strong track record, we have a strong plan and we have strong expectations of social media platforms when it comes to keeping Australians safe online, because we are on the side of Australian families who want their children and all Australians to be safe online.