South Australia’s Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has done a “humiliating” backflip and announced he will repeal his law censoring internet comment on the state election.
After an outraged South Australia took to the AdelaideNow website to post comments condemning the law, Atkinson released this statement at 10pm last night: “From the feedback we’ve received through AdelaideNow, the blogging generation believes that the law supported by all MPs and all political parties is unduly restrictive.”
“I have listened. I will immediately after the election move to repeal the law retrospectively.”
Atkinson said the law would not be enforced during the upcoming election campaign, even though it was technically applicable.
“It may be humiliating for me, but that’s politics in a democracy and I’ll take my lumps,” he continued in the statement.
The new law made it a requirement of all bloggers and posters adding to a political debate to list their real name and postcode during an election campaign, a move considered by many to be an attempt to silence public dissent and opposition to government policy, including the opinions of those SMEs dissatisfied with the powers given to the newly appointed Franchising Commissioner under the new franchising laws introduced late last year.