Government's anti-cyberbullying efforts are taking shape
FED up with the scourge of bullying, the federal and state governments are now actively working to overcome this damaging societal problem.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, who wants to see an effective anti-bullying policy developed, took a range of concerns and strategies to Ministers for Health, Cyber-Security, and Communications, receiving what she feels was very positive engagement.
"The Federal Government is certainly switched on to the vicious nature of cyber-bullying and I am impressed by the keenness our ministers show in wanting to join me in ensuring bullying takes no more lives,” Ms Landry said.
"I discussed a range of items, including the incredibly successful petition by local mother, Katrina, to see anonymous bullying app, 'Sarahah' banned from circulation.
"Katrina's petition has collected an avalanche of support - in just over a month, over 464,000 people have signed the petition calling on Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play to stop making the feedback app available.”
She said it was an incredible response which and showed just how strongly people feel about this cyber-bullying trend.
Ms Landry said she was determined to see an increasing number of services developed to help those struggling with mental health problems.
"It's not enough to just blame the bullies for the heartache they cause; we also have a responsibility to provide the nurturing services that help our young people develop resilience and positivity,” she said.
"Headspace has proven a very successful program across the country and I am working hard to get these services into more locations.
"Mental Health is just too important an issue to ignore.”
In addition to Ms Landry, the Queensland Government has also been developing an anti-cyberbullying response.
They have assembled a 14-member task force, bringing together young Queenslanders, parents, schools, communities and experts to provide the Queensland Government with detailed advice and coordination on tackling cyberbullying.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Queensland Anti-Bullying Task Force would make recommendations for community and government action to reduce the incidence of cyberbullying.
"The Task Force members bring their own experiences and expertise to this important issue,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
"I want to ensure we help Queensland kids and their parents and guardians to deal with the issues of cyberbullying, by ensuring we have the tools and strategies available to them.”
The Premier said Member for Mansfield Corrine McMillan will serve on the Task Force and an Opposition Member of Parliament would also be invited to join.
"We need to work together as a community to address this issue. This is impacting on too many Australians,” she said.
The Task Force was due to report their findings by August 31.