[LINK] ePetitions, Oz Style?

rene rene.lk at libertus.net
Mon Jan 14 22:59:19 EST 2008

On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 13:14:22 +1100, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:

> Do I detect the hand of Senator the Hon. John Faulkner behind this?

Equally as likely, Senator Conroy, imo.

Conroy is of the opinion that a petition signed by 20,000 people "clearly 
shows that [the view expressed in the petition] is widely shared in the 
Australian community". 
and had been using petitions in his efforts to push the Coalition into 
mandating ISP level filtering.

Conroy Media Statement - 19th October 2006
" In March, Kim Beazley announced that a Labor Government would require all 

Internet Service Providers to offer a 'clean feed ' internet service to all 
households, schools and public libraries that would block access to 
websites identified as containing c***d pornography, acts of extreme 
violence and x-rated material.

In the Senate today, I tabled a petition signed by more than 20,000 
Australians endorsing Labor's policy.
The petition that I tabled today clearly shows that this view is widely 
shared in the Australian community.
John Howard and Helen Coonan need to explain to Australian parents why they 
refuse to require ISPs to block access to these disturbing sites."

However, the 20,646 signatures were gathered through churches, as reported
in The Australian on 23 Oct 2006

	'Last week, Kim Beazley conducted a meeting with the Australian Christian
Lobby. An official note of the meeting recorded: "Approximately 50 
delegates attended, including delegates from Catholic bishops, Coptic 
churches, Assemblies of God, Salvation Army, Hillsong. Fifteen Labor shadow 
ministers attended. Beazley was very well received. He also has an existing 
relationship with Jim Wallace (managing director of the Australian 
Christian Lobby and former senior SAS soldier). There was a lot of common 
ground between Labor and the Christian lobby. Labor shadow ministers 
discussed the work it has done, particularly in the areas of: schools 
funding, our internet clean-feed petition -- 20,000 petitions gathered 
through churches (via Stephen Conroy's office), ...'

Since Nov 2004, there have been at least 35 petitions tabled calling for 
mandatory ISP-level filtering (APH parlinfo site seach)

24 of them are a petition form published by the Australian Family 
Association (which is actually a religious right organisation), a copy of 
which can be seen here:

Those petitions also want ISPs to be subject to "liability for harm caused
to children by inadequate efforts to protect minors from exposure."

The other 11 are copies of the 'clean feed' petition, as tabled by Conroy.
While Conroy's had 20K signatures, the others about 'clean feed' had from 
18 to 145.

If Labor believes 20K signatures collected through churches justifies their
policy, I'd be very worried about them paying even more attention to 
petitions than they already do.


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