Labor Senator, Kate Lundy, is one of the few Government politicians to go on record against the proposed mandatory ISP filter. ARN spoke with her about voting against it, the effects of Gershon on jobs and CeBIT 2010.
You have been lauded by many people opposed to the mandatory Internet filter because of your strong stance on the issue. But would you be willing to cross the Senate floor on the issue?
No. I’ve made that very clear from the start. What I’m trying to achieve is putting up sensible ideas within my own party to change our policy.
Do you appreciate the claims of anti-filter protestors that Communications Minister Conroy is moving full-steam ahead and keeps saying ‘no’ to what you’re suggesting?
I never thought he would say yes. The debate is one that will be conducted within my caucus and it has authority over the party’s position. It will be up to a vote on the floor of caucus as to what final policy looks like and I’m anticipating legislation will come forward in this sitting fortnight.
How do you think caucus will vote?
I don’t know, but I’m giving it my best shot.
Are your constituents for or against the filter?
I believe my constituents think there is a problem and they want something done, but they’re not comfortable with the mandatory filter as it’s currently proposed. I think the community has got a range of views because in some ways it’s a very technical debate.
How does this correlate with the low numbers that turned out to the national day of protests against the filter?
I think the debate about the filter is functioning at two levels. There is a general concern on the principal of a mandatory filter and there’s a very specific concern by people within the tech community who find the whole concept so offensive that they’re passionate campaign against the filter has lead to quite extreme views being expressed.
The moderate concern should not be ignored because there’s a very vocal extreme voice out there against the filter; that’s the part of the community I’m trying to represent with my mandatory options proposal; one that acknowledges there’s a problem with the principle of a mandatory-applied filter but not one that subscribes to the view that ‘no filter is a good filter’ or that ‘nothing should be done’.
There is a better way.