Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Labor’s Attempts to Politicise eSafety Must Be Condemned

Labor’s politicisation of the funding of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in its Budget is entirely wrong and inappropriate.

The Coalition proudly created and funded the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, originally known as the Childrens’ e-Safety Commission in 2015.

The eSafety Commission was a world first. No other country had a comparable program at the time, and many still don’t.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner was created to help keep Australians safe online. Originally, it focused on protecting children from online bullying and harmful content. We later expanded the Commission to support adults, with the world’s first scheme to force social media companies to remove intimate images shared without consent.

In 2021 the Coalition Government passed the Online Safety Act, giving the eSafety Commissioner strong new powers, including a world-first scheme to take down adult cyber abuse.

Under the Coalition the Budget of the eSafety Commissioner grew consistently to more than $50 million in 2021-22.

We welcome the Government’s provision of funding for the eSafety Commissioner. But it is extremely disappointing, however, that the Minister would seek to politicise this issue.

Labor has been in office for a year now and of course it is time for it to continue funding for the eSafety Commissioner – as we always did – and would have continued to do.

To suggest the Coalition would not have provided funding for the eSafety Commissioner if we had retained Government is absurd and is nothing more than a sad attempt at political point-scoring.

We continue to support the important the work of the eSafety Commissioner. The Minister should put her focus on the Commissioner’s very important and serious role.

The Hon. David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications