Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Former Parliamentary Secretary
to the Minister for Communications

One in five Australian children experience cyber-bullying, new research finds

6 August 2014

One in five young Australians aged eight to seventeen experiences cyber-bullying each year, according to new research commissioned by the Abbott Government and released today by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher MP at the National Centre Against Bullying conference.

The research found that the majority of cyber-bullying incidents were dealt with through reporting to a school, with 72 per cent of schools reporting at least one incident in 2013. However, the more serious cases are typically reported to the police.

The Abbott Government announced funding of $10 million in the May Budget for its policy of Enhancing Online Safety for Children, including:

  • $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.

‘In developing our election policy, the Coalition carefully reviewed the available evidence about cyber-bullying and online safety,’ Mr Fletcher said.

‘Now that we are in Government and working to implement the policy, we have added to the evidence base by commissioning three major pieces of research on cyber-bullying.’

‘These latest findings confirm that cyber-bullying is widespread and can be serious, and that there is significant community concern about whether there are adequate response mechanisms available today,’ he said.

Mr Fletcher said the Government was now working through internal processes with a view to finalising the policy package in this area, and announcing the details in due course.

The research results are available online at

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

Back to top