The past few weeks have been tumultuous ones in Australia’s political arena, with Julia Gillard challenging Kevin Rudd’s leadership of the Labor Party and in the process becoming Australia’s first female prime minister. Much speculation as to the future of the proposed internet filter was thrown about – including suggestions that Kate Lundy should replace Stephen Conroy as communications minister.
Last week, Gillard disappointed us greatly by speaking out in support of the internet filter. It was then announced that the filter will be delayed until July 2011, pending the outcome of an independent review into ratings classifications. And now, of course, we have an election in August.
What has actually happened is that the Labor leadership have realised that the internet filter is an election-losing proposition. By delaying it until after the election, instead of sinking it completely, they’re hoping to pacify both the pro- and anti-filter segments of the community. No doubt the ALP is hoping that once safely back in power, they can reintroduce the filter unopposed. In the meantime, the anti-filter lobby faces a tough time trying to keep the importance of the issue at the forefront of the minds of Australians.
What we have yet to see is a concrete policy on the filter from the opposition parties. Until that happens, we need to keep the pressure up to ensure that Australia’s online future is not compromised.
To keep up to date with developments in the fight to keep the internet open for everyone, visit Electronic Frontiers Australia and their Open Internet campaign.share this