Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 July 2024


Criminal Code Amendment (Deepfake Sexual Material) Bill 2024; Second Reading

5:49 pm

Photo of Carol BrownCarol Brown (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The Criminal Code Amendment (Deepfake Sexual Material) Bill 2024 strengthens existing Commonwealth criminal offences and creates new offences to respond to the online harm caused by deepfakes and other artificially generated sexual material.

Digitally created and altered sexually explicit material that is shared without consent is a damaging and deeply distressing form of abuse. This insidious behaviour is degrading, humiliating and dehumanising for victims. Such acts are overwhelmingly targeted at women and girls and perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes and gender-based violence.

This Bill will deliver on a commitment made by the Albanese Government following the National Cabinet held in May to address gender-based violence. This commitment recognised the urgent and collective need to respond to the growing challenges associated with artificially generated sexual material.

The Bill creates a new offence that applies where:

      The new offence will carry a maximum penalty of 6 years imprisonment.

      It will apply to sexual material depicting adults, with child abuse material continuing to be dealt with comprehensively in a separate Division of the Criminal Code which includes detailed offences and heavy penalties.

      The Bill repeals previous offences in the Criminal Code dealing with non-consensual sharing of private sexual material. The new offences are based on a 'consent' model to better cover both artificial and real sexual material.

      The Bill also introduces two new aggravated offences.

      The first aggravated offence applies where the person transmitting the material is also responsible for creating or altering the material.

      The second aggravated offence applies where a person has already been found liable for similar conduct at the civil standard under the Online Safety Act 2021 on three occasions.

      These aggravated offences carry a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment to reflect the seriousness of this offending.

      The Bill includes specific defences to ensure the offences are targeted and proportionate.


      The Bill will hold perpetrators to account for causing harm through the non-consensual sharing of deepfakes, and ensure Australia's criminal offences keep pace with new technology.

      The Albanese Government is committed to keeping Australians safe from technology-facilitated abuse.

      I commend this Bill.

      Ordered that further consideration of the second reading of this bill be adjourned to the first sitting day of the next period of sittings, in accordance with standing order 111.