MEDIA RELEASE: Libs Dems pour scorn on revenge porn Bill

Teenagers, media professionals and discarded lovers could face fines of up to $100,000 under the government’s draconian legislation aimed at tackling revenge porn.

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm said the Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images Bill goes too far and if passed will have unintended consequences for many Australians.

“Under this bill even the publishing of drawings depicting people in intimate moments will be taboo in some cases, dragging us all back to the Victorian era,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

“The next thing you know, we’ll all be ordered to cover up the shapely legs of our furniture to protect innocent eyes.”

The media’s reporting on issues of public disorder will be severely curtailed, as images of antisocial behaviour such as public urination, swimwear-clad drunken revellers on a beach and couples getting intimate at music festivals will also be illegal if the subjects do not expressly give their consent.

The Bill even goes as far as making it an offence to publish an image of a person who is not wearing their usual form of religious attire, such as a Muslim woman without her customary hijab or a Sikh without his turban.

“Presumably George Pell will be able to file a police complaint against the ABC if they catch him without his clerical collar” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

The right of consent is also removed from minors in the Bill, meaning a 17 year-old couple who consent to posting their image on Facebook in a semi-clad state could face a fine of up to $100,000.

The onus of proof surrounding consent will also be reversed, meaning it will be up to the person who published an image to prove they had the subject’s consent instead of vice versa, even after the relationship has ended.

“In its overzealous move to protect jilted lovers from embarrassing reminders of past relationships, the government is using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

“My amendments will bring a bit of common sense back to the issue and stop this government from becoming a laughing stock.”

Media: Kelly Burke 0408 734 586