As Victoria’s representative on the Working Group, The Nationals for Victoria Senator Bridget McKenzie said community feedback was vital in the development of effective national policy.
“The internet affords us many exciting opportunities but also presents some challenges.
“It’s estimated 90 per cent of Australian high school students have a Facebook account, and smartphones and internet tablets are a part of daily life for today’s young people.
“Yet in a new era of responsibility for parents, teachers and carers, many are unsure about the dangers of the internet and how to address them.
“That is why this discussion paper is so important.”
Bendigo residents have an acute understanding of the importance of cyber safety, following the recent prosecution of perpetrators responsible for posting embarrassing and offensive material online.
When the COSWG visited Bendigo earlier this year, students spoke about the challenges presented regionally by the interconnectedness of their online reputation and that within their local community.
Senator McKenzie said the Discussion Paper is seeking input on matters including:
· Establishing a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner to take a national leadership role in online safety for children.
· Implementing Rapid Removal protocols with large social media outlets for material that is targeted at and likely to cause harm to an Australian child, through a co-operative regulatory scheme.
· Assisting parents and carers make informed decisions about devices such as smartphones and tablets, by establishing recognised branding indicating their suitability for younger children and teenagers.
· Providing greater support for schools through a stronger online safety component within the National Safe Schools Framework, and assisting with online safety resources for schools.
Written submissions can be sent to Senator McKenzie via email or post at firstname.lastname@example.org or 188-190 High Street, Bendigo VIC 3550.
To obtain a copy of the Discussion Paper, please contact Senator McKenzie’s office on 03 5441 4251.