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 that the plan would go ahead.
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
"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
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.