[First filed: May 22, 2009 @ 08:34]
It’s been a top week for the Liberals in terms of actually holding the Stanhope government to account. They seem to be really getting the hang of the new Freedom Of Information regime. It’ll be interesting to see what reasons the Government can come up with to reign it in. I’m tipping some sort of cost blowout.
In the latest case Jeremy Hanson is crying foul over the strange expurgation of an email he had released under FOI.
- The Minister had originally suggested that there were no plans to build a winery, cellar door and Bed and Breakfast on the site next to the Bush Healing Farm based on searches of Development Applications.
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However, the Opposition has uncovered a document that shows the government was aware of these plans as early as July 2008, when the sale was completed in August of 2008. Worse, the document was censored by the government to try to avoid this embarrassing fact becoming public.
Under FOI, the government released a document dated 9 July 2008 and addressed to the Chief Minister. The identifying details of the person sending the document were properly blacked out. However, material details about the nature of the business were also censored.
The Opposition has now uncovered the uncensored version of this document and discovered that the words ‘vineyard’ and ‘cellar door sales and a Bed and Breakfast establishment’ were blacked out. The only rational explanation to remove these words was to cover up the government’s embarrassment and there is no legitimate excuse for their removal.
Someone with acute political sensitivities would appear to have been entrusted with the black texta.