4 April, 2019
StartupAUS Response to Sharing of Violent and Abhorrent Media Bill
The haste and lack of consultation with which this legislation has been created is a real concern. Between this and the Access and Assistance Act, we’re starting to see a trend towards jumping into anti tech legislation in a knee jerk fashion. This legislation was drafted and rushed through the Senate in less than three weeks. That’s not enough time to get it right. There has been virtually no consultation, which has led to a poor piece of legislation. Nowhere is this clearer than the fact that the proposed law doesn’t include a public interest exemption — something that is deeply concerning.
In the years ahead, there are many thorny regulatory questions that emerging technologies are going to throw up. We need to be thoughtful and deliberate about how we approach those issues. That means engaging in consultation with industry, upskilling lawmakers on existing and emerging technologies, and doing some forward planning about what’s coming and how we can sensibly respond. If we rush it, we’ll get it wrong. We then run the risk of hurting a promising Australian industry while simultaneously failing to protect the public adequately.
Much like the AA Act, the Sharing of Violent and Abhorrent Media Bill is broad in scope, and with the ubiquity of businesses and citizens with an online presence, has potential applications and misapplications right across our society. We call on the government to learn from the mishandling of the AA Act and send the legislation to the PJCIS for review while conducting a meaningful consultation with stakeholders. A robust policy development process is critical here to make sure the law we pass will actually work.
Alex McCauley, CEO StartupAUS
PR Contact: Sophie Hanson | 0417927316 | Sophie@launchgroup.com.au
About StartupAUS: StartupAUS is Australia’s national startup advocacy group, working to support the tech community and accelerate the growth of Australian startups. That means making Australia one of the best places in the world to build and grow a tech startup. StartupAUS focuses on trying to get the big picture right for Australian startups – improving the regulatory environment, building a case for the right sort of Government support for a fast-growing sector, and increasing public awareness of the impact of tech startups across the country.