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Government and opposition making law 'on the fly' with online safety bill: Greens

Media Release
Jordon Steele-John 14 Feb 2018

Wednesday, 14 February

Australian Greens Digital Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has accused the Government and opposition of making law ‘on the fly’, after sensitive legislation concerning non-consensual sharing of intimate images online was rushed through the Senate today.

Both the government and the opposition blocked a motion by the Australian Greens to have the legislation referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications and ensure there was proper scrutiny of the bill, which was only introduced for debate on Monday.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that we support the overall intent of this bill, indeed that is why I am so concerned that it has not had the proper scrutiny it deserves,” Senator Steele-John said.

“The Enhancing Online Safety (Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2017 deals with incredibly sensitive and complex issues, and it is absolutely imperative that we get them right.

“I’m very concerned that this bill has been rushed through the Senate today and that there is a potential that certain elements of the bill’s functionality, particularly around civil and criminal penalties and consent, have not been properly analysed.

“The government and the opposition have chosen to rush this legislation through to appear strong on the issue, possibly given the context of upcoming state elections and by-elections, to the detriment of water-tight legislation.

“This is sloppy bipartisanship at its worst that will not ultimately produce the robust, comprehensive and durable legislation that this issue, and the people it has affected, deserve.”

Media contact:

Tim Oliver - 0448 316 387

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