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Albanese Government failing to prioritise online safety of children

Media statement to The Australian newspaper

The Albanese Government has failed to prioritise the protection of children online and that needs to be urgently remedied.

With more and more demands on the eSafety Commissioner, the Coalition committed an additional $10 million to the commissioner’s budget which was not matched by Labor.

In Labor’s lacklustre October budget, Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland, saw fit to provide only $6 million in additional funding for online safety in schools which fell well short of the Coalition’s additional $23 million commitment.

I again call on Ms Rowland to provide the funding the eSafety Commissioner urgently requires including to provide greater support to victims of online abuse and harm. I am concerned that critical work of the eSafety Commissioner is being delayed because of inadequate resources.

The Coalition ensured that protecting Australians online, particularly children, was a top priority.

It is deeply disappointing that we have not seen that same commitment from the Albanese Government and Ms Rowland.

The Coalition’s Online Privacy Bill, for instance, included important reforms to protect children’s privacy including requiring parental consent before an app is downloaded, and yet Labor has been missing in action.

Whether it’s combating cyber abuse, location tracking, exposure to unlawful material or child sexual abuse, every Australian family has the right to expect that no stone will be left unturned in protecting our children online.

12 December 2022

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