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Labor must put women’s online safety ahead of politics

The Opposition has conveyed to the Albanese Government it wholeheartedly supports any measure which enhances the safety of women when using online dating apps.
We also welcome the New South Wales Liberal Government’s ‘right to know’ women’s safety initiative which will give women the right to access the domestic violence history of users of online dating apps.
Delivering this initiative in other states and territories and extending the right to know to information about convictions for violent offences including serious and sexual assaults should also be considered.
I am most disappointed that the government has blocked the Opposition from attending today’s National Roundtable on Online Dating Safety.   
Given the roundtable was initiated by the NSW Government which raised profound concerns about the dangers of online dating, this lack of bipartisanship from the Minister for Communications is most regrettable. The former Coalition government introduced a number of world-first online safety initiatives including the eSafety Commissioner and the Online Safety Act.
Last week, I wrote to Michelle Rowland requesting her agreement that I attend the roundtable which was refused. The minister should have the grace and leadership to bring all key stakeholders around the table, including the Opposition.
As I have repeatedly raised, the Opposition is concerned about the lack of action from the Albanese Government on online safety including in relation to scams, horrific online child abuse, online safety in schools and the failure to provide the eSafety Commissioner with additional funding she needs to protect Australians online.
That is why the Opposition announced, on 19 December 2022, that we would conduct a series of national online safety roundtables so that a wide range of community members could have their say about an issue which is impacting so many Australians. 


25 January 2023

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