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Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Page: 97


The PRESIDENT (21:23): I will now deal with the Online Safety Bill 2021 and the Online Safety (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021. I will first deal with the second reading motion amendment moved by Senator Pratt in respect of the Online Safety Bill 2021 and then deal with the other circulated second reading amendments.

Op position's circulated amendment

At the end of the motion, add: ", but the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) it has been almost three years since the October 2018 Report of the Statutory Review of the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 and the Review of Schedules 5 and 7 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Online Content Scheme) by Lynelle Briggs AO recommended a new Online Safety Act,

(ii) since then, the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts has repeatedly spruiked the non-existent Online Safety Act in response to concerns about online harms, including online hate speech and racism in Australia following the Christchurch terrorist atrocity and graphic online content in the wake of a self-harm video circulating on social media,

(iii) the Minister was slow in releasing the exposure draft of legislation for consultation then rushed the introduction of the bill into Parliament, eight business days after consultation on the exposure draft concluded, which undermined stakeholder confidence in the consultation process,

(iv) the Review of Australian classification regulation is delayed and has fallen out of step with the bill, and

(v) the Government still has not released the report of an expert working group, convened by the eSafety Commissioner and participated in by industry; and

(b) calls on the Government to release the report of the expert working group convened by the eSafety Commissioner so that the broad range of stakeholders supportive of online safety may have the benefit of the work".

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the second reading amendment on sheet 1309, circulated by Senator Pratt, be agreed to.