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David Coleman and Michelle Rowland (NSW Liberals and ALP)

Opposition communications spokesman David Coleman will today move a motion in Parliament calling on the Albanese Government to shelve its controversial laws to combat online misinformation and disinformation. Source: The Australian. 

Mr Coleman will move a private member’s motion condemning Labor for putting forward the “appalling” draft bill in its current form, calling on the Government to admit the legislation is “deeply flawed” and demanding it “bin the bill”.

The motion will also raise provisions in the bill that have been widely criticised, including that content authorised by the Government cannot be classed as misinformation under the legislation and its broad definitions that could capture “many statements made by Australians in the context of political debate”.

Mr Coleman said the motion will force the bill to be debated in the Parliament for the first time since Labor released the draft legislation in June, which has since drawn criticism from lawyers, the media union and human rights advocates for curbing freedom of speech.

Submissions responding to the draft bill, which will grant the Australian Communications and Media Authority the power to fine social media giants millions of dollars for misinformation and content it deems “harmful”, were due on August 20 but were yet to be released late on Sunday.

“The Albanese Government has managed to unite civil liberties groups, lawyers, religious institutions and human rights groups against this appalling bill,” Mr Coleman said.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has defended the manner in which submissions have been released as reflecting “longstanding practice” and said the bill in its final form would “help keep Australians safe from seriously harmful misinformation and disinformation online”.


Coalition ramps up opposition to controversial misinformation bill (By Rhiannon Down, The Australian)