Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 17:01
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Question without Notice: Extremist Content

I thank the member for Robertson, who has a strong interest and, indeed, strong expertise in keeping Australians safe online. Like me, she's a former telecommunications executive. I was at Optus; she was at Telstra, but I'm delighted to now be on the same team as the member for Robertson. The member for Robertson shares the concerns of all on this side of the House—indeed, I would suggest of all on all sides of the House—about the online streaming of violent material, of extremist content online.

On 15 March we saw an appalling terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques, which took 51 innocent lives and, appallingly, it was live streamed, magnifying the horror and reach of this attack. The Morrison government acted very swiftly and strongly to prevent social media platforms being used to facilitate the spread of this abhorrent content. We did that because we are on the side of Australian families, who are determined to keep their children safe online. Prime Minister Morrison took a very strong leadership position not just in Australia but globally. Our Morrison government will not be letting up on this issue. On 30 March, the Prime Minister established a task force with representatives from major social media platforms, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Amazon, as well as a range of leading internet service providers. The Prime Minister drew international attention to this issue at the recent G20 meeting in Osaka, successfully garnering the support of global leaders to secure a statement from the G20 Leaders' Summit, which was a show of unity in the fight against terrorist and extreme violent content online. That is very much about very clearly stating our expectations of the social media platforms. We moved to legislate so that internet and hosting service providers are required to report and remove such material, and the penalty for failing to remove such content expeditiously is up to 10 per cent of the annual turnover of the company.

On 30 June, I joined with the Prime Minister to release the task force consensus report, laying out nine action areas and 29 recommendations, such as appropriate checks on live streaming. We will expect the global digital platforms to give us serious and meaningful plans in line with their commitments. We're determined to pursue this matter. We are not letting up. We are on the side of Australian families when it comes to keeping them safe online.