Senate debates

Monday, 19 June 2017

Bills

Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Bill 2017; Second Reading

1:27 pm

Photo of David LeyonhjelmDavid Leyonhjelm (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Bill 2017 amends the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act to now make the government responsible for online safety of adults. It goes beyond the existing offences against online harassment as well as current considerations at the state and federal levels of specific offences against revenge porn. On that matter, I indicate that I will be supporting Senator Kakoschke-Moore's second-reading amendment on that issue.

But seriously, what a great idea. The world wide web is filthy and in need of a good internet filter! But surely the bill does not go far enough, because social media is not the only means for adult social interaction. We talk on the phone, too, and surely there is a role for government guidance on how to answer the phone, how to politely hang up on people who are trying to sell you stuff, and what the appropriate duration of a phone call with your mother is! People still use snail mail, too, and I cannot tell you how upset I feel when I read letters containing incorrect use of 'Yours sincerely' instead of 'Yours faithfully'. I worry about the dire consequences arising from the absence of taxpayer funded guidance on these issues. I cannot think of specific dire consequences, but I am sure they are out there! This is why we pay taxes: not so that we have a government that does what we tell it to do, but so that we have a government that can tell us what to do.

Finally, to those watching on YouTube, let me convey an important message as your elected representative: please be careful—and thank you for paying my salary so that I can tell you that!

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