Senate debates

Thursday, 23 August 2018


Enhancing Online Safety (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2018; Consideration of House of Representatives Message

1:26 pm

Photo of Jordon Steele-JohnJordon Steele-John (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I speak on the Enhancing Online Safety (Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2018 today with a certain amount of happiness in my heart, which is a rare thing in these particular times. On a day when this place is descending into chaos and when the Australian people would rightly look at us in disgust, this is an example of what the legislature should be spending time on—what we can and must do to safeguard the people we serve and to ensure that the rights of community members are protected. I am thrilled to see this bill back before us. It has taken too long not just for this bill to go through the relevant processes but for this government to answer the call of all those who, for so many years, demanded that the parliament must turn its mind to this reform.

This afternoon, I would like to pay tribute to Noelle Martin and to all those activists, all those incredible human beings, who took moments of extraordinary suffering when they were subjected to the type of abuse which no human being should have to endure and found strength and courage and demanded that this place act. They demanded a comprehensive reform in this space. I am very glad to see that the legislation before us builds on some of the best work in this area, particularly work done by the ACT Greens last year in putting forward a bill with a broad definition of consent within it, which took into consideration, and expanded to include, issues of cultural context. I am also thrilled that this legislation is supportive and contains within it a definition of consent as something which must be expressed, voluntary and informed. The people of Australia deserve these kinds of achievements from the legislature. They need and demand that we come together and do those things which are necessary to build a better future for them, to better safeguard their rights and promote their aspirations.

As we come to the end of our sitting period, and perhaps the end of this government, I would ask those watching, particularly those in the gallery this afternoon, to look upon this moment and action and see that which your governments should be providing to you. If you are filled this afternoon with confusion, maybe frustration, then you are right to feel those things. But in these moments there is also hope. Thank you to all those who worked so hard to bring this moment to fruition. I am sorry that it took so long. I am sorry that you had to experience what you did before we acted. I support this motion in the fervent hope that it will go some way to ensuring that such experiences are not endured in the future.

Question agreed to.

Resolution reported; report adopted.


No comments