Media Release: 21 March, 2006

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has applauded the Labor Party’s policy to protect children from viewing Internet pornography by introducing mandatory filtering at ISP level.

“This is the sort of policy we have been promoting for a few years now,” said ACL’s Executive Chairman, Jim Wallace. “I really want to thank the ALP and in particular Anthony Byrne, Member for Holt, for listening to families and the broader community on this issue.“

Under the new ALP policy, all ISPs would be required to offer a filtered "clean feed" internet service to all households, and to schools and other public internet points accessible by kids. Adults who wish to continue receiving pornography via the Internet can opt-out of the system.

Mr Wallace continued, “ACL and other Christian advocacy groups, particularly the Fatherhood Foundation, have consistently called on both parties to change the default in relation to Internet pornography. At present, all the responsibility rests with parents who must opt-in to Internet filtering by purchasing and installing special software. This does not adequately protect kids from deliberately or accidentally viewing graphic sexual images at friends’ houses or in public places. ACL agrees with the Labor Party that the default should be a system that protects children. Those who wish to view Internet porn can still do so by opting-out, once they have proved they are legally eligible to do so.”

ACL realises there is strong cross party support for a plan of this type but is encouraged to see Mr Byrne’s work rewarded by a formal policy statement by the Labor Party.

Contact: David Yates