Opposition communications spokesman Nick Minchin has called upon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), to publish the delayed results of the government's mandatory internet filtering trials.
“Almost two years after coming to office with a plan to censor the Internet, Senator Conroy has not even managed to release results for long overdue filtering trials, let alone come close to actually implementing this highly controversial policy.
“It is time for Senator Conroy to end this farce and produce his long overdue trial results. It's looking increasingly like the Minister knows his mandatory Internet censorship plan is simply unworkable, but is too embarrassed to admit it,” Senator Minchin said.
Minchin claimed he was prepared to assess any credible trial results.
Senator Conroy's office hit back at the Opposition by questioning their commitment to keeping children safe online.
"Nick Minchin and the Liberal party should explain why they don’t support using the latest technology to restrict access to child abuse content and other Refused Classification material".
However, Minchin's office told iTnews that "any inference that the Coalition is not serious about tackling child abuse is an appalling slur", adding that the previous government's PC-based filtering scheme, which Conroy scrapped, was at least doing something whilst it existed.
"The hypocrisy of Senator Conroy has been exposed," the spokesman said.
Back in July, Senator Conroy told iTnews that "because of the staggered way ISPs came into the trial, we expect to get the report in the next six to eight weeks." This week marks the end of that eight week period.
The DBCDE has spent close to $300,000 on the ISP-level filtering pilot this year. This figure does not include involvement of Enex TestLab in the filtering pilot.