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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 633

Non-Consensual Sharing of Images

(Question No. 582)


Ms Butler , asked the Minister for Justice, in writing, on 10 November 2016:

Why has the Government so far refused to commit to deliver criminal sanctions and penalties for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, as recommended by the recent Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee's report on the inquiry into 'revenge porn' and by other bodies such as the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children, chaired by former police commissioner Mr Ken Lay.


Mr Keenan: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government is pursuing a comprehensive range of measures to combat the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, including education, victim support, civil penalties and criminal sanctions.

The non-consensual sharing of intimate images can be prosecuted under s 474.17 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Section 474.17 makes it an offence to use a carriage service in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being menacing, harassing or offensive. If the matter involved a victim that was a minor, the child pornography offences in the Criminal Code may also be relevant. There are also state and territory laws criminalising this conduct.

Several states and territories have introduced or announced an intention to introduce offences that specifically criminalise the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The Government is engaging with states and territories to ensure national consistency in addressing the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. On 9 December 2016, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to the development of principles for nationally consistent criminal offences relating to non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The Government is leading the development of these principles through the National Cybercrime Working Group for consideration by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council this year.