Turnbull to hold anti-filter forum


Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull has revealed plans to host a forum against Labor’s mandatory internet filter policy this Saturday in his electorate, dragging in an old colleague — former OzEmail and Telstra chief Justin Milne — to help with proceedings.

“The proposed filter is a hot issue in Wentworth, with many voters expressing concern over the Government’s plans. Some argue mandatory filtering of internet content is a breach of their civil rights and borders on censorship, while others question the plan’s technical feasibility and effectiveness,” said an event invitation posted on Facebook over the past several days. To our knowledge, this story was broken by ARN.

Three panelists will speak at the event: Turnbull himself, who with his background as OzEmail investor and chair is one of the parliament’s most tech-savvy politicians, former BigPond and OzEmail chief Justin Milne and Simon Sheikh, national director of political advocacy group GetUp!

The invite stated that forum would consider adopting community resolutions which captured views on the filter, and presenting such resolutions to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Prime Minister Julia Gillard “as a reminder of the community’s determination to fight the proposal”.

The event will be held this Saturday the 7th August at 3:30 at the Paddington RSL Club on Oxford St in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.

A spokesperson for Turnbull said the event wasn’t being widely publicised — only to the MP’s Facebook and iPhone app friends — to limit the size of the turnup for event capacity reasons. She noted Turnbull was personally opposed to the filter policy.

The forum comes as neither the Liberal party nor the broader Coalition have revealed a formal position on the internet filter policy, with Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith having stated that a reaction would await Labor delivering the actual legislation associated with the filter.

However, Liberal MP Jamie Briggs said recently that he hadn’t spoken to anyone within the party who was in favour of the policy, and the recent conference of the Nationals adopted a resolution against the controversial policy.

Senior Liberals such as Joe Hockey have also publicly spoken out against the filter, as well as Briggs and other MPs such as Alex Hawke, Michael Johnson and Simon Birmingham.

Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull


  1. Turnbull sure was the odd ball in the Liberal party, in fact as a Left wing voter I actually wouldn’t mind if he was PM, and in fact he said last year that he was opposed to the internet filter … and look what happened to him

    • It’s a weird state of politics in Australia when you have a former Liberal party leader backing left wing ideas like freedom of speech, anti-censorship, gay marriage and a price on a carbon\ETS.

      On the other hand we have a Labor prime minister swinging hard to the right on nearly every issue. Bizzare-o-world at it’s finest.

      If Malcolm Turnball was leader again a small part of me would actually consider voting for the coalition. As it stands now I would rather be set on fire than vote for Abbott.

      • Short answer is that “left” and “right” are outdated descriptors. Particularly when you have the Libs pursuing tax-and-spend policies and the Greens advocating market-based policies (carbon tax).

        Better to judge proposals on their merits, not based on which football team, sorry, party, put them up.

        • I find it makes more sense to try and place parties on the Nolan Chart (two axis: personal freedom and economic freedom). Right now we have two parties that are divided on economic freedom, but united on personal freedom (against). Malcolm Turnbull is a significant exception, but the fact that he isn’t the opposition leader any longer shows how widely accepted his views are in the Liberal party.

  2. That Turnbull guy is alright. If I was in his electorate I’d probably give him a vote.

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  4. Good on Malcolm +1…

    And to add to what Simon said… don’t forget MT was the poster boy for the Republican movement too…

    So as I have said, “IMO” while ever Abbott is the leader of the opposition the Coalition, although currently in a seemingly un-loseable position, shouldn’t count their chickens. But if MT was leader it would be a given.

    Unless of course, his own turn on him, because of his left (pun intended) of field beliefs…

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