The Enhancing Online Safety for Children Bill 2014 (the Bill) contains a package of important measures to implement the Government’s election commitment to enhance online safety for children.
It creates a new statutory office, the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner, and provides for the Commissioner to administer a complaints scheme in relation to harmful cyber-bullying material targeted at an Australian child.
The measures in this Bill follow extensive consultation carried out by the Coalition, both in Opposition and more recently in government.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (09:06): Gough Whitlam is associated in the public mind with many localities in Australia. Perhaps three that stand out are Cronulla, Cabramatta and Canberra. But this highly educated and erudite Australian had an association which may not be as well-known but which I want to reflect on today, which is his association with the Upper North Shore, an area falling within my electorate of Bradfield. I want to speak in particular of his association with the prominent boys' school Knox Grammar School at Wahroonga.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (15:42): The proposition before the House this afternoon is that apparently there is an unfair budget which is damaging Australia's economy. That is the proposition which has been put. Let us remember that what damaged the economy of Australia was six years of chaotic and incompetent management.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (20:09): I thank all who have contributed to the debate on the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation) Bill 2014 and the Telecommunications Industry Levy Amendment Bill 2014. It has been a constructive and wide-ranging debate. I note that a number of speakers chose to mention the Abbott government's program to spend $100 million to improve mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia. In that regard, I particularly want to acknowledge the presence in the chamber of the Assistant Minister for Employment, who, with his previous responsibilities, was instrumental in devising that policy which the government is now in the process of implementing. I congratulate him on the development of that policy which is proving to be one that is attracting great interest throughout regional and remote Australia.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (11:43): I am very pleased to speak on the Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring) Bill 2014. The measures in this bill will have a significant impact on reducing red tape across a range of portfolio areas. In the time available to me, I would like to make three points: firstly, unnecessary red tape is a serious problem facing our nation and our economy; secondly, the Abbott government is determined to reduce red tape; and, thirdly, in the communications sector—for which I have some portfolio responsibility as parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Communications—the minister and I have a strong focus on reducing red tape.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (17:10): I thank all members for their contribution to the debate on the Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2014. This bill gives effect to the changes announced by the government on 9 November 2013 that require amendments to the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 and to the changes announced in the 2014-15 budget that require amendments to the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (18:06): I thank all honourable members for their contribution to this debate. The Freedom of Information Amendment (New Arrangements) Bill 2014 will streamline arrangements for the exercise of privacy and freedom of information functions from 1 January 2015. I would like to address some of the matters that have been raised by members who have spoken in this debate. It was put by a number of members, including the member for Newcastle, the member for Moreton and the member for Melbourne, that the freedom of information regime is a very important tool to facilitate the open and transparent operations of government. The Abbott government certainly strongly agrees with that proposition. The Abbott government is strongly committed to transparent, accountable and open government.
Mr FLETCHER (Bradfield—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications) (09:04): I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
Australian citizenship is something to be treasured. It is a common bond which unites us all, whether we were born here or chose to make Australia our home. Australian citizenship involves a commitment to this country and its people. It is a privilege which should not be taken lightly.
The purpose of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation) Bill 2014 (the Bill) is to contribute to the Government’s deregulatory agenda to reduce red tape for industry and individuals and streamline the delivery of public interest telecommunications services by reducing bureaucratic duplication and enabling clear lines of accountability.
The Telecommunications (Industry Levy) Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) makes consequential and transitional amendments to the Telecommunications (Industry Levy) Act 2012 to move the assessment, collection and recovery of the Telecommunications Industry Levy from the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Act 2012 to the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.