Two Liberal MPs have come out in opposition to the government's proposed internet filtering scheme, following Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's announcement on Tuesday.
I'm a Christian and I have spoken to the Christian lobby and told them that this policy will not be effective
Liberal MP Alex Hawke
Thirty two-year-old MP Jamie Briggs called the plan 'fraud' and 'lunacy' on News Corporation opinion blog The Punch. MP Alex Hawke, also 32, told ZDNet.com.au there was "no demonstrable need for a mandatory internet filter".
"I'm inherently against this concept, it's a very bad way to do governance," he said.
"When you examine takeup rates of the voluntary filter the Howard Government put in place, you see that most people are perfectly capable of using the internet to their own satisfaction within the existing law and to supervise their children in the same way.
"If the stated aim is to reduce the availability of child pornography, which is an objective everyone agrees with, the solution is to increase funding to target crime."
Hawke said the filter was a generational issue and that Generations X and Y were deeply concerned about government regulation of the internet. He named Briggs and Senator Simon Birmingham, the 35-year-old Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action, as strong opponents of the filter. Last month Birmingham also published an article on The Punch opposing the filter.
While Hawke believed the Rudd Government's desire to address child pornography was genuine, the proposed filter law was also about "responding to Kevin Rudd's commitment to the Christian lobby before the election", he said.
"I'm a Christian and I have spoken to the Christian lobby and told them that this policy will not be effective," he explained. "It could even potentially lead to some of their views being added to a government filter.
"I don't think they're open to the danger of this policy mechanism. It will go beyond [child pornography] and that's where it could run into trouble. I'm going to be arguing strongly inside the liberal party that we should oppose this policy," he said.