Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton has reiterated calls for the Albanese Government to support his Private Members Bill to enhance the powers of the eSafety Commission.
This week the Queensland Police Service signed a deal with the eSafety Commission, to improve cooperation in relation to such material.
Mr Hamilton said if the Albanese Government backed his Bill and defined in the Act what criminal activity material was, national harmonisation would already be in place.
“What we have now is a situation where the QPS and the regulator know there is a problem and they have to find ways to work together because government is not acting.
“Because of politics – with the blue team proposing something, the red team simply ignores it. I again call on the Minister to get on with backing my Bill in the interest of community safety.
“The Queensland Police Commissioner herself has had to take steps to fill the gap, employing a team of 25 social media experts.
“All I am asking is that we help our community, empower authorities and tackle content that is harming people and driving crime. As the Commissioner said, “I don’t know what the future holds in that space but we really do need to keep trying because it is one of the things that drives (offenders) behaviour.”
“I congratulate the eSafety Commission and QPS – but again call on the Albanese government to support our thin blue line, get it’s act together and back the Bill,” Mr Hamilton said.
Mr Hamilton introduced a Bill to Parliament earlier this year, following calls from within the Toowoomba community for more to be done.
The Bill, referred to as the Breaking Online Notoriety Bill 2023 would amend the Online Safety Act 2021 to define ‘criminal activity material’.
Mr Hamilton said the Bill was a grassroots driven response to the crime crisis in Queensland.
“Members of my community were coming to me, telling me about this disgusting content that was doing the rounds on social media – across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
“Residents were showing me videos of people stealing cars, hooning, breaking into homes, and scarily – filming sleeping, innocent residents while their homes were looted,” Mr Hamilton said.
“Alarmingly, the social media and tech giants were not responsive to community concern and refused to take down content despite report after report,”.