Australia

Scott Morrison declares war on social media trolls

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says a re-elected Coalition government would increase the penalties faced by social media trolls. Source: AAP

Scott Morrison says a re-elected Coalition government would crack down on social media trolls.

A lot has changed in the world since a young Scott Morrison went to school, in no small part thanks to the dawn of the internet.

Speaking with a group of primary school-aged children on the NSW central coast, the prime minister was keen to make that fact known.

"When we went to school, you used to have to bring your homework home in a book," he told the group on Sunday.

 

Mr Morrison spoke with the young people in a hall in Bateau Bay before they received a video lesson on cyber safety from Australian educational mascot Healthy Harold, in the confined darkness of a blow-up tent.

The lesson came as the Coalition has vowed to keep Australian children and adults safer on the web by cracking down on online trolls.

Under their proposed measures, people found guilty of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence would be jailed for up to five years, instead of three.

New offences would also be created, capturing people who provide electronic services to facilitate dealings with child abuse material, and those who groom third parties using the post or a carriage service, to procure children for sexual activity.

0:00
What do voters think about disendorsed candidates?
What do voters think about disendorsed candidates?

Parents would also have access to new resources to help them navigate the challenging task of keeping their kids safe.

After asking some children what they liked to do online - with games ranking highly on their list - Mr Morrison stressed they needed to be as cautious on the internet as they would be in the kind of skate park that was outside the hall.

"What happens online on the internet can be just as dangerous as anywhere else."

The skating theme continued as the prime minister left the hall, and was surrounded by the young attendees of a skating party.

Soon, he was signing their boards, helmets, and even one young man's cast.

"That says ScoMo," the prime minister's wife Jenny clarified for one child.

The prime minister, who was alongside Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Liberal MP for Roberston Lucy Wicks, was in the electorate of Dobell, currently held by Labor with a margin of 4.81 per cent.

Mr Morrison on Sunday also revealed the first laws he would pass after the upcoming federal, if it wins the poll, with locking in extra tax cuts proposed by the Coalition his top priority.

Security measures also rank highly in the Liberal-National team's plans, with the Coalition eager to pass a law that would delay people who have been fighting abroad with terrorist links from returning to Australia.

Making it easier to strip foreign fighters of their Australian citizenship would also be addressed quickly, along with a spate of bills locking in funding promised in last month's federal budget.

They include $528 million for a royal commission into violence against people with a disability, $737 million for more mental health services over seven years and $525 million to upgrade the nation's vocational education system.

Security measures also rank highly in the Liberal-National team's plans, with the Coalition eager to pass a law that would delay people who have been fighting abroad with terrorist links from returning to Australia.

Making it easier to strip foreign fighters of their Australian citizenship is also a priority.

A spate of bills locking in funding promised in last month's federal budget would also be addressed quickly.

They include $528 million for a royal commission into violence against people with a disability, $737 million for more mental health services over seven years and $525 million to upgrade the nation's vocational education system.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch