24 May 2024


Parents and teachers from Blaxland to Blackheath, have raised their concerns about online safety with Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, at a meeting this week.

The roundtable, held by Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, brought together a group of educators and parents from public, independent and Catholic schools across the Blue Mountains to receive an update from Ms Rowland about the action the Government is taking to keep young people safer online.

Ms Templeman said keeping kids and teens safe in digital spaces is an urgent priority for the Federal Government.

“I’m hearing from parents, teachers and counsellors just how difficult it is helping young people navigate digital platforms while keeping them safe,” said Ms Templeman. “So I was glad that the Minister was able to give them an update on the action the we’re already taking.

“Hearing firsthand from those parents and teachers on the frontline today about their approach and the areas they need additional policy support was invaluable feedback as the work continues to make the digital world safer.

“The current generation of school students have been exposed to the internet since they were babies – they’re digital natives - but managing a young person’s involvement in the digital world can feel like a daunting task for schools and families.”

Ms Rowland shared details about the action the government is taking, including measures like the independent review into the Online Safety Act and trials of age assurance technologies.

“No parent or teacher wants children seeing or experiencing harmful or inappropriate content online or on social media.” said Ms Rowland. “That’s why the Albanese Government is taking action to keep kids safe online, including by funding a $6.5 million trial of age assurance technologies to assess their effectiveness and examine children’s access to age inappropriate content, including on social media.

“This is such an important national conversation, and it was wonderful to update parents, carers and teachers in Macquarie on action the Government is taking in this space.” Said Ms Rowland.

Ms Templeman said students and parents can benefit from the investment in e-safety programs.

“The Albanese Government has invested $6 million in the eSmart Program from the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, making this resource available in every Australian classroom,
helping build digital and media literacy skills and teaching key skills to stay safe in online spaces.”

The independent review into Online Safety Act is currently accepting submissions with the
Final Report of the review to be provided to the Government by 31 October 2024.
More information can be found here https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/rowland/media-release/reviewing-australias-online-safety-laws