Record investment to improve the safety of Australians online
The Albanese Government has taken decisive action to improve the safety of Australians online by quadrupling base funding for the eSafety Commissioner in the 2023-24 Federal Budget.
Short-sighted funding decisions made by the former Liberal-National Government mean that eSafety was facing a funding cliff, with a host of non-ongoing or terminating funding measures putting the work of this important regulator at-risk.
Our world-leading online safety regulator will receive an additional $132.1 million over four years, providing eSafety funding certainty so they can support a safer experience online for Australians – including for vulnerable people and children.
eSafety’s base funding will rise from $10.3 million to $42.5 million each year.
Increased annual funding will enable eSafety to respond quickly to Australians who seek their support when subjected to harmful abuse online, and ensure the regulator can keep up with growing demand for its takedown schemes
This important investment will keep Australians safer online by funding eSafety to:
- Bolster its efforts to hold the online industry to account, including through industry codes and the Basic Online Safety Expectations;
- Ensure the voices of young people – who are often the targets of abuse and extreme material – are heard through the continuation of the eSafety Youth Council;
- Continue to support the removal of child sexual exploitation material, with funding to deliver improved coordination with law enforcement; and
- Conduct important research into online harms and evaluate their resources to ensure they are meeting the needs of Australians.
eSafety will also be able to enhance the reach of its educational and awareness programs, teaching communities about online safety practices and the support offered by the regulator. This will be delivered through on-the-ground regional engagement, including collaboration with regional and First Nations community leaders, law enforcement, migrant resource centres and schools.
Today’s announcement emphasises the Government’s commitment to support a responsive online safety regulator that can deliver for all Australians, and complements the Government’s other online safety initiatives like the National Roundtable for Online Dating Safety and national rollout of digital and media literacy products in schools through the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
For more information on the Albanese Government’s Budget, visit budget.gov.au; and to report online abuse or access eSafety’s tools and resources, go to eSafety.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is determined to improve the safety of Australians online.
“The reality is that shocking decisions made by the former Liberal-National Government mean that our world-leading online safety regulator was facing a funding cliff, putting its important work at-risk.
“Unlike the Coalition, the Albanese Government is giving the eSafety Commissioner the resources and certainty they need to do their important work by quadrupling ongoing funding.
“This record funding means eSafety can keep up with growing demands for their services, and take strong action to have abusive and illegal material removed from the internet.
“We are funding eSafety through the 2023-24 Federal Budget so they can continue their critical work to build a safer online world for all Australians.”