Reviewing Australia’s online safety laws

Albanese Government and the Independent Reviewer are today opening public consultation on how we can strengthen our world-leading Online Safety Act to keep Australians safe.

Announced in November 2023, the independent Review is being conducted by Ms Delia Rickard PSM and will be a comprehensive examination of our existing laws.
The Government brought forward the commencement of the Review to 2024 from 2025 to ensure the eSafety Commissioner has the tools necessary to keep Australians safe.
Since her appointment, Ms Rickard has been engaging with academics, civil society, and Government departments including Home Affairs, the Attorney General’s Department and relevant agencies like the eSafety Commissioner to determine key issues, the scope of the Review, and the public consultation process.
The Review is considering the effectiveness of the current framework, including whether more powers are needed to address new and emerging harms.
The Review is also examining options to reduce harms caused by online hate, as well as new harms raised by emerging technologies such as generative artificial intelligence.
The Issues Paper raises a number of other matters including: 


  • what further steps can be taken to ensure industry acts in the best interests of children;
  • whether existing penalties and enforcement powers are fit for purpose;
  • whether laws and regulations that deal with online content and harms are accessible and easy to understand; and
  • international developments in online safety regulation, including whether the law should be amended to impose a new duty of care on digital platforms towards their users.

Feedback from Australians will help shape the outcome of the review and ensure recommendations are informed by online experiences and expectations of the community.
The Final Report of the review will be provided to the Government by 31 October 2024.
For more information on the review, or to make a submission, visit
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“Keeping Australians safe online is a key focus of the Albanese Government.
“Our laws may be world-leading, but they are not set-and-forget. That’s why our Government brought forward the statutory review to ensure these laws remain responsive to the rapidly changing digital environment. 
“This Issues Paper is the next step in the review process we kicked off in November last year, and I thank Ms Rickard for her important work, which will be crucial in ensuring our online safety laws are fit for purpose and enable more Australians to engage in the benefits of a positive digital environment. 
“The Government is considering a range of matters, including the strength of penalties, ensuring industry acts in the best interests of children, and taking lessons from overseas.
“This is an opportunity for the community and civil society to have a role in reforms to strengthen our online safety laws, so they are fit for purpose in an ever-changing online environment.”