Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

PM ARGUES THAT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFO SHOULD REMAIN SECRET

Senator Rex Patrick  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in outh Australia ,  7 Sept 20 PM ARGUES THAT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFO SHOULD REMAIN SECRET
In the most bizarre moment I’ve ever had in an Freedom of Information (FOI) fight, this week I had to deal with a taxpayer funded legal argument from the Prime Minister’s office arguing why publicly available information should remain secret (yes, you read that correctly).
In 2018 the Attorney-General censored the Auditor-General, issuing an certificate in a never before used section of the Auditor-General’s Act, forcing the Auditor to redact information in an audit report he provided to the Parliament.
I used FOI to request an uncensored copy of the report that was sent to the PM’s office. Initially the PM used an erroneous argument to stop me getting it, which the PM later abandoned. Then he raised a complex constitutional argument that was to go before a judge, but they dropped at the last minute. This week the Government’s lawyers even put forward an argument saying that the dispute should be dealt with in a closed hearing that I would not be allowed to attend.
Whilst my epic battle has managed to get a lot of the report released to me, there are still some parts that are disputed and are being withheld from me. However, it is now known that part of the disputed material is information that is already publicly available. It is you YOU the taxpayer that is being charged by the PM’s lawyers to develop legal arguments as to why information that is publicly available should remain secret.

September 8, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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