Tuesday 7 February 2012

Senator Stephen Parry said 2012 Safer Internet Day served as a reminder that more work needs to be done by parents, carers, teachers and regulators to better protect children and young people from the dangers of the internet.

Senator Parry said many teachers, parents and carers were struggling to keep up with the changing nature of the internet and social media.

“Five years ago, the modern online environment was just websites, email and SMS. Now it encompasses interactive activities such as social media, skype, facetime, apps and games.

“No longer are parents seeking to control the household PC, but now the internet is accessed through ipods, tablets, game consoles and phones.

Senator Parry said many parents were feeling that they could not keep up with the changes.

“Parents know that their children will grow up in a digital world, yet they are also rightly concerned about the risks and vulnerabilities children and young people face online.”

“Australian children are growing up on-line and we have to do a better job protecting them from bullying, teaching them about privacy and identity theft and protecting them from accessing sites which are inappropriate for them.

Senator parry said the issue of on-line safety was critical for every parent in Tasmania and that the Federal Coalition had formed an Online Safety Working Group to consult with key technology, education and cyber-safety leaders, parents and young people, as well as other interested parties, about ways to improve online safety.

“The Working Group is not seeking to repeat Labor’s attempt to put a filter on the internet or to hinder the dynamic nature of the online environment, but we do want to assist and equip parents and teachers in their work of protecting our children and preparing them for adulthood.”

Senator Parry said he wanted local parents, carers and teachers to let him know of their experiences in dealing with the challenge of protecting their own children or pupils from the dangers of the internet.

Senator Parry will host a Community Forum in Hobart on Friday 24 February.

Parents, carers and teachers wanting to make submissions to the Working Group or attend the Community Forum should contact me at
Senator Stephen Parry Deputy President of the Senate Liberal, Tasmania