Late this afternoon on Triple J's Hack program, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the Coalition would act to block Labor's mandatory internet filter if they find themselves in opposition after the election. With the Greens also taking a position against the filter, it is highly unlikely Labor will have any chance of getting the numbers they need to push their legislation through during a next term.
In his interview with Hack, Hockey said:
...we believe the internet filter will not work and we believe it's flawed policy.
In case you think there's any confusion, he also answered a direct question on whether the Coalition would support the filter if they didn't win the election.
He also spoke to the potential misplaced trust in a technology that cannot deliver on its promise and that the Coalition would stick to their plan of giving more control to parents. He added the Liberal Party will have more to say on the subject in the future.
Greens Senator Ludlam was pleased by this news, and the EFA has issued a statement that calls on Minister Conroy and the Gillard government to admit the mandatory filter policy is dead and to "move onto a debate more grounded in reality".
We've been fighting an uphill battle for quite some time on this one. But this news seems to have the undertaker reaching for his nails and hammer when it comes to the mandatory internet filter. No Coalition and no Greens support in the upper house means it will be nearly impossible for Labor to secure the votes they need to ever get this legislation over the line.
Tell us if we've missed something, but this might actually mean the filter fight is over...
Of course, we've thought that before, too...
This definitely raises the stakes at next week's ICT debate!