Qld moves to stamp out cyberbullying

Thursday, 14 February, 2019

Qld moves to stamp out cyberbullying

The Queensland Government is taking action on cyberbullying, with the Premier contacting social media platforms to remind them of their responsibilities.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has written to the CEOs of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google, reminding them of their obligations to better protect young people who use their online and social media platforms.

While updating parliament on the government’s response to the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce report, Palaszczuk also said she was writing to television networks, broadcasters and streaming services, requesting they include ‘bullying’ in program consumer advice.

“I’ve also announced a new advisory committee has been established to help Queensland Government departments action the 29 recommendations from the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce report,” Palaszczuk said.

“The committee is an important next step in creating a safer and more supportive online environment for Queensland’s children and young people.

“The safety and wellbeing of Queensland’s young people is a top priority for my government and the work of this committee supports our $3.5 million commitment to address the prevalence of cyberbullying and the harm it can cause.”

The committee will be chaired by Queensland University of Technology legal academic and Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce member Peter Black, and will include members with a breadth of experience in the technology, education, legal, media and parenting sectors.

Karyn Healy, Mark Breckenridge, Annika David, Elloise Waite, Emily de la Pena and Brent Neale will serve as members of the committee.

The first biannual progress report on the government’s Anti-Cyberbullying response will be tabled in Queensland Parliament in April.

Palaszczuk said a number of recommendations from the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce report still required federal support.

“At the Council of Australian Governments meeting in December, I requested support for ‘right to be forgotten’ legislation, which would allow degrading cyberbullying material to effectively be erased from the internet,” Palaszczuk said.

“This month I am writing to Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeking an update on this matter, as well as other taskforce recommendations which require national action.

“There is not one thing we can do to eliminate cyberbullying — we must do everything, and my government will continue to lead by example in 2019.”

The $3.5 million commitment includes:

  • $2 million over two years to develop and roll out awareness and education campaigns to assist the community, parents and carers, and young people to understand what cyberbullying is, the harm it can cause and how we need to address it.
  • $1 million for schools, including $450,000 in funding to the Dolly’s Dream Foundation in partnership with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, to implement the eSmart Schools Program in Queensland schools. Dolly’s Dream Foundation will match this funding with a further $300,000.
  • $500,000 to provide grants to young people and to youth and community organisations that want to undertake their own initiatives to address cyberbullying.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Cherries

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