No conscience vote on filter: Conroy

No conscience vote on filter: Conroy

Summary: In an interview for the ABC's PM program yesterday, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that there would be no conscience vote on the government's proposed mandatory internet filter.


In an interview for the ABC's PM program yesterday, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that there would be no conscience vote on the government's proposed mandatory internet filter.

"Conscience votes go to matters to do with life and death in the Labor Party," Conroy said.

The minister said that the filter debate was not about censorship, rather it centred around refused classification material.

"I'm not sure that the censorship claim stacks up. This is about classification systems. At the moment in Australia, there is no conscience vote on refused classification for movies, TV, DVDs or book stores," the minister said.

Conroy then called on the newly installed Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to justify his position on the filter to families concerned about child pornography.

"According to the latest information I have here from the [Australian Communications and Media Authority], there are 430 child pornography sites on the [World Wide Web] ... that are accessible to anyone."

"[Malcolm Turnbull] has to explain to Australian families that he is prepared to do nothing about blocking access to those sites," Conroy added.

Turnbull — a self-professed tech head, gadget fan and staunch supporter of high-speed wireless broadband — said during the election campaign that there was no market for 100Mbps fibre internet.

Conroy countered Turnbull's position, saying that the NBN wasn't just about speed.

"It's not just about download speeds. People keep saying that you can get 100Mbps on wireless and [hybrid-fibre coaxial], it's about the capacity."

"If Malcolm is the tech head that he claims he is, he will stop telling Australian's that they can get the same capacity on a wireless network that you can on a fibre network," Conroy added.

Topics: Broadband, Censorship, Government AU, Networking, NBN

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • why bother with these articles, or at least preface them with the sub-heading "Labours filter destine to die a quick death in the senate no matter what **** conroy says".

    seriously even if godforbid the filter gets through the lower house there is absolutely no way the greens will pass it in the senate.

    thus conroy's comments, mutterings and lies are so moot that its not funny.

    can someone tell him that his a fricken lost!
  • God I hate everything that comes out of conroy's mouth. Does he not understand people don't want the filter? I laugh at the fact he knows that there's '430 child porn sites', I'm sure a large percent of them are probably questionable aged men/women, but to say there's 430 child porn sites running and thus making it seem like they're not illegal or there's nothing in place to stop them is just a scare tatic. Child porn is not rampant on the net, I've never stumbled across it or viewed it (at least to my knowledge), conroy makes it seem like mistyping your childs favourite website will connect him to a network of illegal content.
  • if conroy knows about 430 child porn websites that are freely available on the internet right now surely alerting the relevant authorities would be a much cheaper option than blocking out half the internet to stop access to them.

    a filter that can be bypassed by those in the know anyway.

    its not at all about child porn and everyone knows it.

    what about euthenasia.
    what about abortion.
    what about other alternative lifestyles.
    what about anything that goes against what the government in power beleives.

    its opening a huge can of worms and it will never get past the senate... hopefully
  • I've said everything I wanted to, so
    **** off, Senator Cowboy.
  • How much did this filter cost again? $40 mil or something like that? For $40 mil, I could hire 25 professional law enforcement officers and pay their wages for around 16 years. If 25 professional law enforcement officers cannot shut down 430 websites in 16 years (that's just over one website per officer per year), then something is seriously wrong.
    Dean Harding
  • If Conroy knows of 430 child porn websites why is he not contacting the relevant national and international authorities? That would have a much greater effect (nationally and globally) than steadfastly bleating about how his filter will solve all RC problems.

    The reason he still has a job comes down to Julia only wanting one scape goat when it all turns to crap. Easier to blame it all on one person than share the responsibility for this gross waste of taxpayers money (that means Conroy *AND* his crazy schemes).
    Scott W-ef9ad
  • I am not sure it is Mr Conroy's place to decide if this option goes to a conscience vote. maybe he forgets he is part of a minority government.
    Blank Look