Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Joint Media Release- Protecting Children from Online Harm – Coalition Policy on Age Verification Trial

A federal Coalition Government will invest in age verification technology to help protect Australian children from online harm.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said an elected Coalition Government will provide an additional $6.7 million, over two years, to the eSafety Commission to conduct a trial aimed at reducing the access of children to harmful online content, such as pornography.

“There are growing concerns of how extreme, offensive and denigrating online images can normalise unacceptable behaviour, particularly in relation to women and girls,” Mr Dutton said.

“Families spend an increasing amount of time online; we want to help parents protect their kids from the damaging impacts this sort of content has on our kids.”

Mr Dutton unveiled the commitment in Brisbane where he met with representatives of key advocacy groups; Bravehearts, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, and Collective Shout.

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman said the Albanese Government had been condemned for rejecting the recommendation of its own eSafety Commissioner for a trial.

“Labor’s decision to oppose an age verification trial was criticised by more than 45 top child and women’s safety leaders who wrote to the Prime Minister and Minister,” Mr Coleman said.

“The National Children’s Safety Commissioner expressed disappointment at the Government’s announcement, but the pornography industry welcomed it.”

“We’ve also learnt from an FOI this week that the Minister considered that conducting a trial would ‘unnecessarily distract’ industry from developing new codes.”

Mr Coleman said he would introduce a Private Member’s Bill into Parliament on Monday seeking to amend the Online Safety Act to legislate for the Minister to carry out a trial.


Joint Media Release


The Hon Peter Dutton

Leader of the Opposition

The Hon David Coleman

Shadow Minister for Communication