The Albanese Government must explain why it has quietly delayed publishing submissions on its flawed Misinformation Bill and plans to selectively release them from next month. Submissions on the Bill closed on August 20.
Today the Government has changed its website to advise that “Public submissions will be uploaded … in several tranches from early September 2023.” It had previously stated that a large volume of submissions had been received.
“It’s likely there’s been an avalanche of negative submissions on the Government’s appalling plan,” Shadow Communications Minister, David Coleman said.
“We’ve seen that evidence today with even the media union putting in a submission warning that provisions in the Bill were ‘dangerous and open to misuse and exploitation.’
“The Victorian Bar Association has also slammed the Bill’s ‘illiberal double standard’ under which authorised Government content cannot be misinformation, but criticisms of the Government can be misinformation.
“The submissions should be published now.
“Minister Rowland also needs to explain why she wants to publish the submissions in tranches, instead of releasing them at the same time.
“How can the public be confident that the Minister won’t pick and choose friendly submissions first in a bid to spin the story about her Misinformation Bill?
“The Minister should also reveal just how many submissions have been received.”