Coalition opposing internet filter

Shadow Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has confirmed that the Coalition will scrap Labor's internet filter if elected and will refuse to support the proposal if not.

In an interview broadcast on radio station Triple J, Mr Hockey said: "We believe the internet filter will not work and we believe that it is flawed policy."

Mr Hockey added the Coalition would hand out free end user filter software that would give parents control.

Labor is backing a mandatory internet filter that would block websites deemed to show illegal content, including child pornography.

However, the proposal has stirred controversy due to the secretive nature of the government's 'black list' of banned websites and the sensitive issue of censorship on the web.

Even if the Liberals do not win the upcoming election, Mr Hockey said the party is prepared to vote against any mandatory filter legislation in the Senate. As the Greens also opposes a mandatory filter, it appears Labor will now struggle to win enough support for the policy.

The idea of a mandatory internet filter has not been popular with the Australian public and neither has the alternative – a voluntary filter enforced by ISPs rather than the government. In a recent poll conducted by Compare Broadband, a massive 75% of broadband users said they would be prepared to leave their ISP if their provider started filtering content.

In July, Communications minister Stephen Conroy put the plans on hold while a year-long review into the filter is completed.

The Coalition has also stated its opposition to Labor's National Broadband Network, although the party has yet to propose an alternative.