Five Questions About The Coalition Policy Backflip Giz Wants Answered

So hey Coalition, you declared that a Liberal/National government if elected would introduce a compulsory opt-out internet filter, and then about three hours later decided that actually, no, it wouldn't. Confusing, we find. Voters interested in tech issues deserve to have some questions answered. Specifically:

  1. If , as the retraction statement claims, an opt-out filter is "not our policy and never has been", how come there were 300 words describing such a policy ready to go in the document? Where did you find them? Someone wrote those words; who was it?
  2. If this has "never been policy", why exactly did MP Paul Fletcher, who often speaks about broadband issues, tell one tech site quite unequivocally that the Coalition would work with industry to develop such a policy
  3. You've been claiming for some months that the Coalition has been "ready for a long time". If that's the case, how come Malcolm Turnbull says he didn't read it until late this afternoon, and thus went on JJJ and explained a policy the party now says it never had?
  4. The original policy document set aside $10 million for developing cyber-safety policy, but now you have ditched a big chunk of it. Does that mean the policy development will be cheaper, or did you not check the sums in the document or in the budget?
  5. Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the incorrect policy had a "lack of clarity" and was due to "quality control". It seemed quite clear what it actually meant. But in any event, how can we be sure this lack of "quality control" doesn't also apply to those allegedly bulletproof Coalition NBN plans? You know, the ones you haven't issued costings for?

The election is on Saturday, as you know, Tony, so we haven't got a lot of time. If you or Malcolm or Paul could actually answer those questions ASAP, that'd be great. We'd like to be able to make an informed decision, but there is still a big "lack of clarity" here. Thanks, Gizmodo

Picture: Getty Images


    The answer will be "quick, look at the cuts in public services that you pay for"

      I figured they would blame Jaymes Diaz...

    Consistency, coherence AND logic from the liberal minority government now that would be a first. While you are seeking clarification, have a go at the revised national broadband policy. Existing areas with'adequate coverage' will not be upgraded. So much for market demand. Optus and Telstra put over $20billion in the air hanging from poles ten years ago and that will do for the next 15 or twenty. Pathetic!

    And these clowns are likely to get elected on Saturday?

      everyone keeps telling me that they are likely to landslide it.....but honestly i only know personally 3 people who are going to vote liberal and iv not seen many people in the comments of any site or social media talking up the liberal campaign. maybe im just in a labor bubble of sum description.

    The answer is how dare you claim the Coalition backflipped on something you biased left-wing website, no-one cares about costings, and look over there isn't Rudd horrible?

    Spot on those questions, but I doubt we'll see them answered in the next 24 hours. Or ever.

    Abbott, Turnbull and Fletcher make Stephen Conroy look like Albert Einstein!

      Watching Conroy debate Turnbull you had a dumb person defending a smart policy vs a smart person defending a dumb policy.

    Well....umm.....ahhh...that is to say.....we'll save costs by uhh..not blowing out the NBN....uhh....Mr Internet over here....

      shhhh he practically invented the internet in Australia!

    We will reveal this all in due time... Nekminnit

    Nice impartial reporting! Communism is alive and well at Giz!

      So you define communism as "publicly disagreeing with bad policy"? Seems to me that we should all loudly question bad policy wherever we find it. That's not communism, just plain good sense.

        I think Media's point is the reporting is not impartial. The whole Labor party campaign has been scare mongering and inciting fear of the evil liberal party. Little of it is based on fact, it is simply creating fear and doubt. It would be like me saying font vote for Kevin Rudd, he could he could dismantle an effective people border protection policy leading to billions (yes, billions) being spent on air and sea surveillance, housing and resettling refugees and paying centrelink benefits or them indefinitely. Oh wait, bad example - that happened. More like if I said don't vote for Rudd, he could declare martial law in Australia and invade Poland. This article finishes by lapping up Labor's fear mongering campaign...

          Wait, you're complaining about Labor's scare mongering campaign and defending Liberal, who have been doing it for years? Don't forget, this government has terrible economic management according to Abbott, even though we sailed through the GFC, have the sixth highest credit rating in the world and the 10th lowest debt.

            Thank you mining. Labor choked that chicken with the MRRT though. They spent our taxpayer money effectively though, on buildings nobody needed, insulation schemes that killed people, housing and searching for illegal immigrants. As someone who has seen first hand death as a result of labors "more fair" asylum seeker policies I can say with some authority that labor is irresponsible.

          Stalin: You are off-topic after your first sentence. Gizmodo isn't the ABC and doesn't have to be impartial. The topic is the Liberal party's policy on internet censorship and comparing things to communism doesn't address or invalidate those questions.

      "This person has found holes in my parties policy, better call him a communist."

      Nobody knows what impartial is these days. This is a technology website so naturally the only policy these guys have really seen for the last 6 months is the NBN and whatever the liberals are offering. When the internet filter was an issue I can tell you it was not supporting it and that was a labor policy. So basically it is all about the NBN for a tech website, want a different view go read any of the news websites and you will have a liberal biased view, then you can be balanced.

        How dare you make sense on the internet you communist.

      When an internet filter was ALP policy both this website and this commenter attacked it. Bad policy is bad policy, and the questions are reasonable.

        Hell I'm all for communism as long as I am in charge.

    The Howard governments filter policy was software you could download from the governments web site. That was scrapped by Rudd-Gillard-Rudd because they were pushing compulsory internet filtering.
    LNP want to re-introduce the old Howard filter plan which is completely optional and a great offer for parents who want to protect their children. But, because one LNP member gave wrong details about the plan which was quickly corrected, Gizmodo want to crucify them?
    Labor have never given incorrect policy information? Rudd has never miss-quoted? You only have to read todays news to see more of his bungling.
    I can't wait for tomorrow. We can finally get this disaster Labor party out!
    Yeah, you kids can cry all you want about your precious NBN. There's bigger issues to worry about.

      Look I found somebody who actually believes this was a mistake and not a backflip!

      The policy document (not a quote or comment in a press conference, an actual policy document) very specifically mentioned that they wanted to emulate the UK plan which is an opt-out filter.

      Even if it was a mistake how the hell did nobody notice. TWO different MPs defended the policy because they hadn't actually read it. One of those was the minister in charge of internet policy!

      Yeah, you kids can cry all you want about your precious NBN. There's bigger issues to worry about.

      This isn't about the NBN. This is about the competency of the Liberal party
      - A policy document was released with completely incorrect information
      - The minister in charge of internet policy defended it on radio
      - A second minister defended the policy in an interview
      - The man who wants to be treasurer had no idea that the policy had even been announced
      - The man who wants to be PM admitted he only briefly read it.

      You call Labor a disaster (despite the evidence indicating otherwise). Who is actually writing Liberal party policy? Nobody seems to know what it is!

        Someone got a copy and kindly posted it online for all to see;

        I find it funny that they are trying to downplay it and say that it was a mistake that wasn't picked up on, but how do you go to this much effort (and substance) and not have it noticed?

        If no-one noticed it and they were elected, would they refer back to this and say 'Hey, we told you we were doing this!' ?

        On a side note, I could believe that Turnbull didn't know about all of this, its pretty obvious that he has very outspoken views in his party regarding the digital future (see his performance trying to sell FTTN)

        You call Labor a disaster (despite the evidence indicating otherwise).

        Labor *has* been a disaster, especially in the past few years, let's not kid ourselves here. It's just a different kind of disaster. The constant infighting from inside the party, a multitude of broken promises (one of the largest being the carbon tax, or rather the promise there won't be one), several leadership changes and even more leadership challenges and leaders that are unlikeable with the general public is what's bringing about its downfall. If the polls are to be believed Labor is facing its worst defeat since the 1930's and that's mostly due to the party imploding rather than anything the opposition has done. They have become unpopular for a reason.

        As good a reason as any not to vote for either major party IMO. Vote for your local independent for example instead.

        Last edited 06/09/13 2:47 pm

      yeah cant wait for tomorrow so we can go from one as you say disaster to another just withh a different head. neither party has anything to sway me so it looks like i will be drawing dicks on the forms this saturday. no bias just disillusionment

        dont draw a dick!
        the best way to stick it to the major parties is to put them lower on the preferences.
        any party that gets more then 4% of first preferences gets funding equivilant to how many people put them as first preference. therefore if you vote for a minor party first then they get money and more importantly the major parties LOOSE money. hopefully if they see their funding leeking out amoung the sex party and similar they might change their tune.

      Definitely bigger issues, like the local recession in my home territory if liberal get in and cut 12,000 jobs.

      Absolutely, we have bigger issues guys! This is the information age, we shouldn't be worrying about a high-speed information source! We should be worrying about stone, bronze and iron.

    "i will be drawing dicks on the forms..."
    What a copout. You don't like either party, so what. Grow a pair, make a decision and vote. Otherwise, please don't come back here, or anywhere for that matter, and complain about the government. You forego that right when you choose to vote informal.

      I don't like either major party, and never vote for either major party. But I don't donkey vote, I just vote for someone else. Sometimes a minor party, sometimes an independent...depends who I like at the time.

      I really dislike Labor and all of the BS infighting that's been going on in that party, but at the same time I want their NBN. Looks like I'll be sticking to my tradition of not giving either major player my vote.

    Tony was right when he said there will be no surprises, im not surprised at all !

    If they could screw up a policy so badly by mistake, what other policies are riddled with mistakes.

    He talks about trust how can anything they have released (the little that they have) be trusted now. Even if it wasn't a 'typo' as they now claim how can anyone trust them, they are either so incompetent they release policy documents that are incorrect or they blatantly lie to cover up a bad policy decision.

    Isn't it more of an american thing to call someone a communist for having socialist ideas?
    I mean come on people, We all know communism isn't evil, it's just a method that only works on paper, or for dictatorships.

    Ahh if only you guys were part of the majority... Unfortunately the average schmuck out there either has no idea or doesn't give a shit..! Seriously I asked one of the techs that installed the NBN at my place what he thought of having cabinets at the end of the street.. He had no friggin idea what I was talking about... I rest my case... :(

    Last edited 06/09/13 1:38 pm

      So are you suggesting we form a Gizmodo Australia Party and run for the senate?

        Can this be a thing?

          The Gizmodo Australia Party - Where all policy decisions are decided by up-votes and down-votes.

            Funny you should mention that. Have a look at

              i dont understand why this isnt a thing already, we're a democracy, we should be voting for everything, not just parties to fight for us, we have the technology why arnt we utilising it? it make so much more sense.

    Rudd is bad mmm'kay. Don't vote for Rudd 'cause Rudd is bad mmm'kay. So thats why you should never vote for Rudd mmm'kay.

    Is this what everyone else hears when they listen to Abbott?

      No, I just hear, "I'm Tony Abbott and I'm a wanker, I'm a wanker, I'm a wanker, I'm a wanker."

        Thanks, and I was thinking that I am the only one, who is hearing the same exact words, when I see that man on TV.

    I fee like starting a party up called "None of the Above" and see how many votes we get.

      Reminds me of the fake business they started on Gruen Transfer years ago called "9 out of 10 experts" or similar, so that they can use the business to endorse products with a slogan such as "9 out of 10 experts recommend this product".

      LOL that took me a moment to get but well done to you sir!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now