Australia Day is a day for celebration and community. Australians come together in appreciation of the great country that we live in, and the opportunities that are available to us. Many choose to mark the day with close friends and family in a truly laid back and Australian style.
Congratulations to all who have been recognised in Australia Day Awards over the weekend. It is great to see the contributions made by our citizens in communities across the Electorate recognised and celebrated on our national day.
January 26 is a notable day in Australia’s history, and we celebrate the achievements we have made as a country.
I would also like to welcome those who have officially become Australian Citizens in ceremonies across the weekend. We are lucky to live in a country of opportunity and I welcome the ongoing contributions made by those who have chosen to make Australia their home.
It is increasingly important to be conscious of online safety, especially in regards to children. The Coalition had been considering this issue from opposition and has established a working group in 2012 to examine how online safety could best be addressed. Through this consideration process several ideas for enhancing safety have been proposed.
The Abbott Government has now released a Discussion Paper outlining several ways in which online safety can be improved. Public comment is welcome, and I encourage those with an interest in this subject to put their view forward.
The proposals identified in the Discussion Paper include establishing a Children’s E-safety Commissioner, developing an effective complaints system for the removal of harmful material from social media sites, and looking into the need for a new, simplified cyber-bullying offence.
In the ever evolving online world it can be a challenge for parents, schools and communities to keep up with developments. It is essential that we do our best to protect children who are vulnerable to threats through online interactions.
The discussion paper is available online www.communications.gov.au/. Submissions close on 7 March 2014 and can be made by Post or by email to .
For further information on making a submission please contact my office on 02 6882 0999.
Image: Mark Coulton, Federal Member for Parkes celebrates Australia Day with State Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, and Australia Day Ambassador Simon Westaway.