The federal government has issued a statement denying reports it is planning to freeze or cut funding to online safety programs.
A Fairfax Media report on budget estimates, published yesterday, said the Coalition had plans for “freezing and culling” funding to cyber safety programs, alongside plans to introduce a new $10 million e-safety program.
The report drew a sharp rebuke from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who claims in a statement the government has “not ‘culled’ any online safety programs nor has it embarked on ‘contradictory budget cuts’”.
The government claims the amalgamation of a number of different programs into a single e-Safety commissioner will lead to the same services being delivered more efficiently while creasing a single point of contact.
However, the statement goes on to say while the government will spend an extra $10 million per year on a policy to boost online safety for children, it will “pause” the indexation of funding increases for other online safety programs.