Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien is encouraging people in Wide Bay to have their say on how to stay safe online, with consultation opening on a proposed new Online Safety Act.
Mr O'Brien said online safety was an important issue for Australians of all ages, including the community in Wide Bay.
"The internet forms an essential part of modern life, so the Liberals and Nationals Government is committed to keeping all Australians safe online," Mr O'Brien said.
"The proposals include expanding Australia's cyberbullying scheme to protect kids across the full range of online services they use, and the creation of a new cyber abuse scheme for Australian adults. I would strongly encourage everyone to have their say on the Act."
Other features of the proposed new Act outlined in the discussion paper include:
- Decreasing the time within which platforms must facilitate the takedown of harmful content under the cyberbullying and image-based abuse schemes – from 48 hours to 24 hours.
- Extending the application of cyberbullying scheme for children to cover various other services they use every day (e.g. gaming chat services, messaging apps, social connection sites).
- Reducing the availability of harmful material by working with ancillary services providers, like search engines, to de-rank offending content.
- Providing the eSafety Commissioner with powers to mandate transparency reporting by the digital platforms.
- Introducing new basic online safety expectations to be proactively met by service providers.
The proposed reforms deliver on a commitment made at the 2019 election and respond to the 2018 review of online safety legislation by Ms Lynelle Briggs AO, which recommended the replacement of the existing framework with a single Online Safety Act.
"The internet offers significant economic and social benefits, but these benefits will only be fully realised if Australians can engage confidently and safely in the online world," Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said.
More information about the proposed reforms and how to make a submission is available at: www.communications.gov.au/onlinesafetyact