$50 million for government cyber-bullying commissioner


Paul Fletcher (left) with the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner, Alastair MacGibbon.


The Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner is set to be launched next month, with the bill set to top $50 million over four years. An extraordinary amount for single office in the federal bureaucracy.

In a letter to MPs in March, Simon Breheny and I argued that establishing the Office was indicative of an ‘ever-larger and ever-more pervasive state’, which would undermine the role of the family and civil society.

A position Paul Fletcher seems to share. As reported in The Australian today ($):

Yesterday, Paul Fletcher, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, urged parents to check what their children were doing online. He said primary school children, as well as teenagers, were suffering as bullies turned to social media.

“Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing ­online… The central responsibility sits with the parent when it comes to the safety of the child, and schools also have a role to play.”

Well, not quite. The new regulator is Fletcher’s creation, and is set to insert itself right into the relationship between parent and child. At a significant cost, too.


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