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Election Survey - Commonwealth of Australia 2016 - Q5

Q5 - Internet filtering

The current classification system for publications, films and videos bans (i.e. refuses classification for) dangerous material including child pornography, and material promoting crime, suicide or terrorism. Unfiltered, the internet can bring explicit pornography and other harmful material into the family home – and to children outside the home via mobile phones. Voluntary computer-based filters do not protect children in vulnerable situations. Mandatory default filtering at the ISP level is essential to protect children and maintain a healthy society.

Would you support mandatory default filtering of the internet at ISP level to exclude all material currently refused classification in print, film or video media?

Party Reply Score

Family First

  Probably. Family First wants to work with families towards a solution to the rivers of filth on the internet.  We want a solution that puts families first, raising awareness of the many dangers there are for children online.  We would not want to see parents assume the government is protecting their children through a government-run solution, if children can work around the solution, or the government solution is deficient.  A government filter may block pro-family content.  There may be technological solutions that are affordable and consumer driven.  We may be able to learn from the United Kingdom’s experience.  We want to keep working on this complex and important issue before committing to a particular specific policy initiative.


Australian Labor Party

  The Labor Party takes the online safety of all Australians very seriously and believes there is some content that has no place in a civil society. We remain committed to ensuring that access to child abuse material is restricted.

Blocking the INTERPOL 'Worst of' list of child abuse material achieves the objective and this policy has been implemented using existing legislation.

With several ISPs participating, over 90% of Australian internet users are covered and this coverage will increase. Given the success to date the Labor Party sees no need to pursue mandatory filtering legislation.


Liberal Nationals Coalition

  The Coalition is committed to enhancing online safety for Australian children.  The internet and social media offer forums for human interaction which are of great social benefit.  But the Coalition acknowledges that human interactions go wrong, offline and online.

The Coalition does not support mandatory internet filtering.  Indeed, the Coalition has a long record of opposing it.  The Coalition does, however, support ways of protecting young people from content which is illegal or inappropriate for them to access.

Since coming into office, the Coalition has established the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner to take a national leadership role in online safety for children.  The Office has implemented an effective complaints system, backed by legislation, to quickly remove harmful material targeted at Australian children from large social media sites.  The scheme applies specifically to cyber-bullying material – that is, content targeted at and harmful to an Australian child.  It is not a general content regulation scheme.

The Coalition has also worked with industry to ensure that better child online safety tools for smartphone and other devices as well as internet access services are readily available for parents to purchase.  There is a wide range of online security products available which allow parents to limit access to certain sites.

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is working with mobile phone companies (such as Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and their resellers) and internet service providers (which provide fixed broadband services to their home) to make available software which parents can choose to install on their own devices to protect their children from inappropriate material.


Rise Up Australia Party

Yes, definitely.


Christian Democratic Party

Yes, definitely.


Australian Christians 

Yes, definitely.


Online Direct Democracy

No comment.


The Greens

Definitely not. The Greens oppose a mandatory internet service provider (ISP) level filter.  We support a voluntary filter at the household level.  ISPs should be required to offer PC-based filter solutions that can be customised to block a broad range of content.



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