Media Release: 14th January 2010: Canberrans Need Action Not Words in Opposing Internet Censorship, say Democrats

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Media Release: 14th January 2010:

Canberrans Need Action Not Words in Opposing Internet Censorship, say Democrats

ACT Democrats President, Darren Churchill says “Canberrans are entitled to action not simply words, in opposing Internet Censorship”

IT News reports yesterday described ACT Labor senator, Kate Lundy as “speaking out” against mandatory internet censorship and pushing for an “opt out” alternative to the Communications minister’s online blacklist.

“It’s all very well for Kate to speak out and say she opposes mandatory censorship” said Mr Churchill “But will her actions back her words when the legislation is introduced to parliament next month. Will Kate cross the floor and vote against her own party’s legislation?”

“Of course she won’t! The ALP’s rules forbid it!” declared Mr Churchill. “Kate can do all the talking she likes, but at the end of the day, she can never support her constituents over her party because of the agreement she has signed as a Labor Senator. That is, she can never vote with her conscience or she must resign and become an independent. And Kate’s not going to do that. Is she?” Mr Churchill continued.

“This is why Australia so desperately needs the Australian Democrats. We have consistently opposed mandatory Internet censorship and filtering. And we insist that our parliamentarians must vote with their conscience. That’s what “keeping the bastards honest” is all about – backing up what you promise with your actions in parliament.”

“There are already filters available for people who want to protect their children. This is rightly so. It is the right and responsibility of all individuals, especially parents, to determine for themselves and their families what is acceptable. It is highly appropriate that parents and schools should have access to a system of filtering to protect children at their discretion. But there should be no mandatory censorship.

“But I believe censorship is evil. It is abhorrent to anybody who believes in basic freedoms. We must not allow the censorship technology to be put in place because it can be potentially misused by the government of the day. It is far too easy for censorship to become a tool of control by totalitarian governments.”

The ACT Democrats and I have consistently opposed government attempts to control information. With an election due this year Australian Democrats candidates will continue to speak out for the right and responsibility of all individuals, especially parents, to determine for themselves and their families what is acceptable – and to oppose “Big Brother” governments. But we will not just speak. If elected, we will act!” Mr Churchill concluded.

Darren Churchill

President, Australian Democrats (ACT Division)

darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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