Gillard ducks filter questions


The office of new Prime Minister Julia Gillard has declined to answer questions about the Labor leader’s personal views on her party’s mandatory internet filtering policy, directing enquiries to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

“Please contact the office of Minister Conroy, who will respond on behalf of the Government,” said a member of Gillard’s media team when contacted about the matter this morning.

Speculation abounds in Australia’s technology industry about what Gillard’s personal views on the filter might be – as she has not commented on the policy since taking power in a leadership spill several weeks ago. Her predecessor Kevin Rudd had publicly defended the policy several times, on one occasion noting he would not apologise for the policy.

Labor Senator Kate Lundy has previously said she believes the change in leadership could present an opportunity for the policy to change, and is lobbying the Labor caucus to insert opt-in or opt-out provisions into the filter legislation.

Delimiter submitted the following questions to Gillard’s office:

  1. What is Prime Minister Gillard’s personal view on the need for a mandatory internet filtering scheme?
  2. Does the change in Prime Minister create an opportunity for this policy to be revisited?
  3. Is the Prime Minister aware of the significant dissent within the community for this policy, and the technical problems in implementing it?
  4. Labor Senator Kate Lundy — who has an enduring interest in technology policy — is campaigning for ‘opt-out’ and/or ‘opt-in’ provisions to be inserted into the internet filter policy. Would the PM consider discussing such provisions?
  5. Does the PM’s office have any other comments to make about the internet filtering policy?

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy did not respond directly when asked last week whether he had spoken to Gillard about Lundy’s amendments.

“We have got an election commitment to deliver,” he said. When asked about his personal views of the proposed amentments, Conroy said: “I’m not into opting in to child porn.”

Image credit: Adam Carr, Creative Commons


  1. It looks to me as if it’s business as usual in the ALP. Take a cup of water next time to throw on Conroy, maybe shock him into giving a straight answer.

  2. JG can either drop the censorship policy or forfeit a big chunk of votes to the party openly opposing it. I don’t mind filling out all the boxes on the bedsheet so I can put Labor 2nd last.

  3. Don’t expect a change of policy. Not unless there’s a real electoral backlash, to the point where Labor goes *last*, not second-last, on a *lot* of ballot papers. There simply aren’t enough people who give a damn to cost them any seats.

    It’s more important to beat up on refugees. *That* will win some votes.

  4. Gillard has commented on many topics that she has Ministers for – resource tax, asylum seekers, same-sex marriage, etc.

    So why refuse to talk about the filter?

    I reckon she’s getting poor briefings from Conroy – who claims to represent the moral majority and the ostriches in Cabinet don’t get a true picture.

  5. Election commitment??? The election commitment was for OPTIONAL filtering.

    What a deceitful scumbag Conroy is.

  6. Yes that’s right Zappa, that is correct. If I remember correctly, we were told that we could Opt-Out of the filter. And yes, I too believe that Conroy is deceiptful. When the public is belittled by statements such as, “If people equate freedom of speech with watching child pornography, then the Rudd Labor Government is going to disagree.” (Thankyou former PM!), and of course Conroy’s statement, “I’m not into opting in to child porn.” Can anyone see a pattern here? Policticians talking to the public in a condeceinding manner in order to push through an agenda, their agenda, that virtually no-ones wants or needs. That’s one method. Another tactic is to use children as the excuse, (“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation”). So let’s do a re-cap: There’s 1: Talking down to the people (belittling or embarrassing them into submission), there’s 2: ‘The Children’, and 3: “We have an ‘election commitment'” (in other words, We’ve said we’ll do it, so we have to obey our own words). However, that is NO excuse for the government NOT to cancel the proposed filtering scheme. On the contrary, it’s a great excuse for them to push-ahead with it. Even so, that shouldn’t stop them from cancelling it, for the simple reason that governments have backflippped / cancelled other things in the past, so my question is: Why not the filter? When you think about it, and it doesn’t take too much thought at all, one can almost sense something hidden, but one asks: What is the real reason for the filter? Yes we’ve heard what they’ve had to *say* about it, and we’ve all heard the reason’s for it, but what is the real reason? I mean, what else is there, and even though almost no-one wants or needs the filter, why is our government so determined to put it through? Or is it possible that they’re being controlled by a higher authority / entity? Makes you think, doesn’t it? Let me just rattle off a Hitler quote from years gone by: “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.” (Or, “How fortunate for governments that men do not think”). And another very important quote I feel the need to share which will shed some light oon many things, including Flouride in our water-supply (think about it, and do research!!), “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” And here is an insight into why Conroy answers the way he did with the child-porn answer, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” ~Hitler. Now although the filter is NOT popular, which I realise, I have however noticed that Conroy’s *answer* is popular to *him*. That is, he likes to fall back on it when he’s caught in a rut (has no answer / can’t answer the question). It’s also so that he can go on to the next question, thus changing the subject. When a person is being deceiptful, they fell much more comfortable when the subject is quickly changed, thus providing relief. Conroy’s answer was very quick, allowing him to move on to the next person in that interview (when he said that he’s “not into opting in to child porn.”) ~Which, by the way, I find very disturbing to say the least. Unfortunately for Conroy, he’s not only brought himself undone, he’s also made it so much harder for people to believe anything he has to say in future. But at the same time, it’s still important to continue to listen to what he has to say, even if you don’t believe it, because, by always comparing past information to the present and from present to future, it’s the only way we can bring them undone. Undone by their own words & actions. There is seriously something wrong with society when we’re told we can “opt-out” of the filter, and then it becomes mandatory. One has to ask where we’re headed, of if it really is in-line with “refusing clasification” to what already would be refused anyway. Either way, in my opinion it’s not worth the risk. I do not trust this government, and nor have I since the Internet Filtering plan was first released. If you don’t trust someone, get out now and jump-ship while you can. (e.g, the Titanic).

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