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Assembly kiboshes the FOI rush job

By johnboy - 6 December 2011 4

Chief Minister Gallagher is stamping her tiny feet after the Liberals and Greens joined forces to slow down her new Freedom Of Information laws:

Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, and Attorney General, Simon Corbell, have today expressed disappointment at the refusal of the Liberal Party and the Greens to debate FOI laws that would further open up the work of Government to the community.

“The bill that was listed to be debated today contains key reforms to the Territory’s Freedom of Information Act and is clear evidence of a commitment to transparency and open government,”
the Chief Minister said.

“It is disappointing that the other parties in the Assembly, who claim to hold the Government to account, have blocked debate on this important legislation today.”

“The Government calls on the Opposition and the Greens to put the best interests of the community before politics and support this important legislation in a timely manner.”

In response the Greens’ leader Meredith Hunter had this to say:

The ACT Greens have been a big part of FOI reforms this term and FOI is one of the policy commitments won in the Parliamentary Agreement. We want adequate time to for all parties to participate in this legislative process.

The ACT Government’s attempt to ‘tick and flick’ through FOI reforms in two weeks without working with the other parties in the Assembly will not produce the best laws.

This is a blatant attempt to sell Ms Gallagher’s ‘Open Government’ branding, but is in reality a poor process that would rush laws that we should be taking the time to get right.

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne had this to say:

“This legislation was not blocked in the Assembly today. The Assembly agreed to take more time to consider the Bill rather than let Simon Corbell ram it through. The Government’s behaviour goes completely against its supposed commitment to open government.

“The Canberra Liberals did not debate the FOI Bill today because the government gave the Assembly less than three weeks to consider and consult on important and complex legislation that requires considerable amendment. This is yet another attempt by the government to push through important legislation without a proper period for consideration.”

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
Assembly kiboshes the FOI rush job
zippyzippy 10:34 pm 06 Dec 11

Thumper said :

jcitizen said :

This is what Mr Corbell continually keeps doing since being made Attourney General. He keeps rushing through “Half Baked” changes to legislation, without any consultation with anybody but himself. How can the Government claim to be an open Government when they continually keep making changes to suit themselves, as in this instance.

If they realy wanted to change the FOI Act to become more open and honest,then they would address the important grey areas contained in it, such as clarification on what can be claimed exempt as “Personal Information”, “Legal Proffesional Privilege” , and many more for example

1. when a person,Agency or Department is acting for and on behalf of the public,should they be able to keep their name and what role they have played or undertaken as “personal information” and therefore exempt?
the answer would be NO, if the Government really is committed to open Government as claimed.

2.Should a Government Agency or Department be able to claim “Legal Profesional Privilege” simply because one agency or department is acting for and on behalf of another agency or department. Again the answer to this should be NO,

Will any Government really ever be committed to “Openness and Honesty”. I doubt it.

This is now considered to many as “The Freedom From Information Act” and the new proposed changes do nothing but complicate the FOI Act even more and make access to the General Public even harder and more restricted, with more limitations and restrictions placed upon it.

Keep the Bastards Honest!

As I’ve often said, this government can do whatever they please. The libs will never have the numbers and the Greens will always side with the ALP.

Simple as that.

Errm, maybe not that simple, seeing as here we have an example of the greens siding with the liberals.

LSWCHP 9:39 pm 06 Dec 11

Mr Corbell’s inability to understand basic chemistry resulted in firearms owners in the ACT being denied the ability to purchase smokeless powder for several years. This perfectly safe and legal product was freely available across the border in Queanbeyan during that period.

After that bizarre episode, stories of half-baked legislation being rushed through by Mr Corbell surprise me not a bit, and any measure to prevent similar stupidity deserves credit. Good on the Greens and (I never thought I’d write this) the Libs.

Thumper 9:11 pm 06 Dec 11

jcitizen said :

This is what Mr Corbell continually keeps doing since being made Attourney General. He keeps rushing through “Half Baked” changes to legislation, without any consultation with anybody but himself. How can the Government claim to be an open Government when they continually keep making changes to suit themselves, as in this instance.

If they realy wanted to change the FOI Act to become more open and honest,then they would address the important grey areas contained in it, such as clarification on what can be claimed exempt as “Personal Information”, “Legal Proffesional Privilege” , and many more for example

1. when a person,Agency or Department is acting for and on behalf of the public,should they be able to keep their name and what role they have played or undertaken as “personal information” and therefore exempt?
the answer would be NO, if the Government really is committed to open Government as claimed.

2.Should a Government Agency or Department be able to claim “Legal Profesional Privilege” simply because one agency or department is acting for and on behalf of another agency or department. Again the answer to this should be NO,

Will any Government really ever be committed to “Openness and Honesty”. I doubt it.

This is now considered to many as “The Freedom From Information Act” and the new proposed changes do nothing but complicate the FOI Act even more and make access to the General Public even harder and more restricted, with more limitations and restrictions placed upon it.

Keep the Bastards Honest!

As I’ve often said, this government can do whatever they please. The libs will never have the numbers and the Greens will always side with the ALP.

Simple as that.

jcitizen 8:54 pm 06 Dec 11

This is what Mr Corbell continually keeps doing since being made Attourney General. He keeps rushing through “Half Baked” changes to legislation, without any consultation with anybody but himself. How can the Government claim to be an open Government when they continually keep making changes to suit themselves, as in this instance.

If they realy wanted to change the FOI Act to become more open and honest,then they would address the important grey areas contained in it, such as clarification on what can be claimed exempt as “Personal Information”, “Legal Proffesional Privilege” , and many more for example

1. when a person,Agency or Department is acting for and on behalf of the public,should they be able to keep their name and what role they have played or undertaken as “personal information” and therefore exempt?
the answer would be NO, if the Government really is committed to open Government as claimed.

2.Should a Government Agency or Department be able to claim “Legal Profesional Privilege” simply because one agency or department is acting for and on behalf of another agency or department. Again the answer to this should be NO,

Will any Government really ever be committed to “Openness and Honesty”. I doubt it.

This is now considered to many as “The Freedom From Information Act” and the new proposed changes do nothing but complicate the FOI Act even more and make access to the General Public even harder and more restricted, with more limitations and restrictions placed upon it.

Keep the Bastards Honest!

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