House debates

Monday, 22 February 2021

Statements by Members

News Media and Digital Platforms

4:11 pm

Photo of Andrew WallaceAndrew Wallace (Fisher, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Facebook's ban on publishing Australian news content is an attack on our democracy. This is an attempt by a multinational corporation to bring the Australian government and its people to heel, but we must not stand for it. The Morrison government is acting to ensure that the professional journalists in this country, who work hard to gather and disseminate the accurate information that we all need, are paid a fair price for their efforts. A functional and independent media is a cornerstone of our democracy. We're already facing a global struggle against fake news, but now, as the government begins rolling out COVID-19 vaccines across Australia, it's more important than ever that we get accurate information out to all Australians. The stories written by traditional news media are among the most important sources for that information. If multinational corporations like Facebook deny Australians access to the accurate and trusted information that they need, they will leave a vacuum, and that vacuum will be filled by what? By misinformation. On Saturday, I called on all Australians to say no to Facebook and log off for 24 hours. I'm grateful to everyone who joined me in standing up to this multinational's corporate bullying. Facebook now need to stop acting like a spoiled child, grow up, do the right thing, come back to the bargaining table and not let Australians down.