Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Support for online safety

Funding measures

In addition to ongoing operational support for the eSafety Commissioner, the Government has announced key funding packages to support online safety.

2021–22 Budget measures

In the 2021–22 Budget, the Government announced an additional $29.2 million for online safety across four measures.

  • a national online safety awareness campaign to raise awareness for the new and strengthened schemes available to Australians when the Online Safety Act 2021 comes into force.
  • a range of online safety measures through the Women's Safety Package led by DSS, boosting eSafety investigations and funding a pilot of technology to detect image-based abuse content posted online
  • resources for frontline workers, children and families regarding technology-facilitated abuse (TFA) targeted children.
  • new education resources on recognising and preventing harmful behaviours online through the National Strategy to Prevent Child Abuse.

Online Safety Reform Measure

In the 2020–21 Budget, the Government also announced $39.4 million from 2020–21 to 2022–23 for the eSafety Commissioner to fulfil its existing functions, perform additional functions created through the Online Safety Act 2021 and meet the sustained increase in demand for support and assistance. This allows eSafety to prepare for and administer new online safety regulatory and enforcement regimes under the Online Safety Act 2021 and deliver programs to meet ongoing demand for advice and support on online safety.

Be Connected program

In the 2020–21 Budget, the Government also announced $11.9 million to extend the successful Be Connected program until 2023–24. The Program offers a range of resources to help older Australians improve their digital literacy, build confidence and engage safety online.

The program includes Be Connected Young Mentors, an intergenerational mentoring program between high school-aged youth and older Australians which provides older Australians the opportunity to learn from digitally-savvy young people, while equipping young people with valuable communication and leadership skills.

Find out more about the Be Connected program.

COVID-19 Online Safety Response Measure

On 28 June 2020, the Government announced $10 million in 2020–21 to enable the eSafety Commissioner to respond to increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding has allowed eSafety to:

  • Employ additional staff to investigate reports from Australians experiencing image-based abuse and cyberbullying; and
  • Develop additional resources to provide Australians with practical tips on how to stay safe online, manage household devices, manage children's exposure to COVID-19 new and misinformation and address growing levels of technology-facilitated abuse.

Online Safety Grants Program

In February 2019, the Government also announced $10 million over four years (2019–20 to 2022–23) for the Online Safety Grants Program. The program has enabled non-government organisations (NGOs) that are registered not-for-profit charities to apply for grant funding to deliver projects that improve the online safety of Australian children. Grant opportunities are targeted at education initiatives, assistance for parents and community and frontline support groups, and the online safety needs of vulnerable communities.

Find out more about the Online Safety Grants Program, including successful Round 1 applicants.