Sydney Live with Ben Fordham > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

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15-August-2018

Sydney Live with Ben Fordham

2GB

15 August 2018

5.10 pm

E & OE  

 

FORDHAM:

Now, any Australian who shares intimate images of other people without their permission could soon face years behind bars. There’s a plan to make it a Federal criminal office; streamlining a patchwork of different legislation, across different states. So people who share intimate images without consent could face up to seven years jail and a fine of more than $100,000. This announcement today from the Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield, who joins us on the line. Minister, good afternoon.

 

FIFIELD:

Good afternoon, Ben

 

FORDHAM:

I know this is called ‘revenge porn’, I hate that terminology because I had a victim of this say to me once: “Hey, there’s no revenge in this. We haven’t done anything wrong in the first place”. But I think we all know what we’re talking about here, people sharing images – nude images – without people’s permission. So you’re talking about some very heavy penalties here?

 

FIFIELD:

That’s right. We want to send a very clear message to the creeps online. That if you share someone’s intimate image, without their permission, then the law is coming after you. As you mentioned, we don’t think the current penalties are tough enough. There is a bit of a patchwork quilt around the nation. So what we’re saying, what we’re legislating, is that you can go to jail for up to five years; or, if you’re a repeat offender, you can go to jail for up to seven years. And we’ve also got some pretty hefty fines as well.

 

FORDHAM:

I’ve had a look at New South Wales, the maximum jail sentence is three years and a fine of $11,000, which sounds, well that sounds tough enough. But then again anything to discourage people from doing this is going to be good. Because it’s not just the act of sending it, it’s the trauma that you inflict on the victim right?

 

FIFIELD:

Huge trauma. I mean this can destroy people’s lives. Technology’s a great thing, it gives us all new opportunities. But sadly it also gives opportunities to people who want to do the wrong thing, and want to do harm. And it’s just so important that we put the message out there to people who are subject to this material you don’t have to suffer, you don’t have to cop it. Get on to the Commonwealth eSafety Commissioner. They can help have this material taken down. And once we have this legislation through they’ll have some real teeth to tackle the perpetrators.

 

FORDHAM:

I guess the other advice, and I don’t know whether you engage in this stuff as Minister or leave it to mums and dads, but I’ve said it before just don’t take the photos, don’t pass the photos on. I mean I know that there’s a lot of pressure placed on young women these days to engage in these activities and a lot of young blokes out there say well everyone else is doing it you should be doing it as well. But the safest thing is just don’t allow the photos to be taken to begin with.

 

FIFIELD:

Absolutely Ben. Once you send something to someone else you’ve lost control. You know the message for kids, for young people, is keep control. Sure take photos. Do what you want. But keep control. And if you do get yourself into trouble or someone puts you in trouble then call the eSafety Commissioner.

 

FORDHAM:

Minister thanks for your time.

 

FIFIELD:

Good to be with you Ben.

 

FORDHAM:

Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications.

 

[ends]

 


Authorised by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.