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Liberals Vote Against Closing RTI Act Loophole

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Tags: Right to Information, Transparency

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader

Despite knowing Right to Information decisions have been made by Ministers' delegates that are unable to be reviewed, the Liberals voted not to close a loophole in the Right to Information Act 2009.

The loophole has been confirmed by the Ombudsman in a letter to the Greens.

While Minister Ferguson can pretend there is nothing to see here, the facts are self evident.

In debate on the Greens' Bill, Michael Ferguson tried to pretend the Ombudsman's advice did not exist and that the government has contrary advice, which he refused to provide to the Parliament.

It's a moot point because the Ombudsman is not reviewing decisions made by a Minister's delegate.

Mr Ferguson also tried to pretend everything is as it was under the Labor Green Government. 

The difference is that Greens' Ministers had a fully hands off approach to RTI.  We didn't conceal or seek to manipulate the provisions in the Act in order to deny the public's right to know.

We didn't identify the loophole in the last term simply because it didn't come up, because we weren't trying to hide anything.

Such criticism is pretty rich coming from a Minister who routinely releases requested information late in the afternoon with a media release attached.

So much for a hands' off approach to Right to Information!