Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Previous Parliamentary Secretary
to the Minister for Communications

Australian Government Keeping Our Children Safe Online

13 May 2014

The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitment to provide $10.0 million to enhance online safety for children. Funding will be provided over four years for measures outlined in the Government's policy to Enhance Online Safety for Children:

  • 7.5 million to assist schools to access accredited online safety programmes;
  • 2.4 million to establish and operate the Office of the Children's e‐Safety Commissioner (the Commissioner) to take a leadership role in online safety; and
  • $0.1 million to support Australian‐based research and information campaigns on online safety.

The spending is part of the Abbott Government's Economic Action Strategy to build a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

Children's online safety is a priority for the Government. A recent public consultation process highlighted community concern that more should be done to enhance online safety, with research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority indicating that around 21 per cent of 14–15 year olds report being cyber‐bullied.

Many parents and schools feel ill‐equipped to respond to the challenge of protecting children from online dangers.

This is a significant commitment by the Australian Government to help keep Australian children safe online.

We have responded to widespread community concern that more should be done to protect Australian children from harmful cyber‐bullying material and to give them the safest possible online environment.

The Commissioner will administer the funding of $7.5 million for online safety programmes in schools and $0.1 million to support Australian‐based research and information campaigns on online safety. The Commissioner will also be responsible for improved coordination of the content and messages provided to Australian children, families, schools and child protection agencies.

The Government will shortly announce the outcome of public consultation on arrangements for the Children's e‐Safety Commissioner; an effective complaints system, backed by legislation, to get harmful cyber‐bullying material targeted at Australian children down fast from large social media sites; and whether there should be a new, simplified cyber‐bullying offence or civil penalty regime.

Media Contact:
Luke Coleman, Office of Paul Fletcher MP, 0414 728 720,

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