Nope. If you send an actual text message then you won’t be covered by this bill. SMS (and MMS) are expressly exempted.
This is a confusing area though because on an iPhone if you send a “text message” then it may be sent as an SMS (green) or may be sent as an iMessage (blue) - and neither the sender nor the receiver even fully controls that choice but that will cause that individual piece of communication to engage different parts of the bill.
Email is expressly exempted (but exempted in a different part of the bill, as compared with SMS/MMS).
I believe that these are political concessions, and that it could change in the future i.e. slippery slope - since you highlight an obvious loophole.
Read the verbal handstands that they do regarding private messaging services (which are sort of exempt and sort of not exempt).
The bottom line is that politically it is more fraught to be intruding on private, person-to-person communication. It makes it a more difficult sell. This is in contrast to something that is published, made public or otherwise publicly observable i.e. something that is intended not to be private.
In addition, the government understands that any half-decent person-to-person messaging should be encrypted, and encrypted beyond the ability of the service provider to read the message (i.e. end-to-end encrypted), so there’s no way that a service provider could do anything about “misinformation” anyway (record statistics, or block etc.). The service provider can of course record metadata - but only without regard to whether the content is “misinformation” i.e. universal surveillance.
Hah, yes. Probably sets up an advantage to the government of the day though - because the government of the day can communicate as the government (exempt) rather than as a political party (not exempt).
However exactly how any such communication will in practice engage with this bill is unclear, given that the bill expressly pretends not to interfere with the “implied freedom of political communication”. (This is of course a constitutional fig leaf.)
In other words, if this bill worked the way the government pretends it will work then a political party would likely be unhindered by this bill as far as communication goes - since almost everything that a political party publishes is “political communication”.
Supposing that the exemption for government were removed … nothing in this bill prevents the government putting out “propaganda during wartime” however they might be better to confine themselves to TV and radio (since broadcasting services are expressly exempt).
Propaganda comes in many forms. Not all of it is “misinformation” anyway. But, yes, sometimes during wartime there might be deliberate actual misinformation put out by the government in connection with the war.
Also, this bill attempts to “protect” only Australians. So if the government puts out information that is false and it does not impact on Australians but it does impact on one or more people overseas then such communication should not engage with this bill. (This is not crystal clear because putting out “misinformation” about people overseas could indirectly impact on the Australian economy i.e. if those overseas retaliate - just another reason to be wary of this bill. However in a wartime situation this is unlikely to be an issue.)