Hawke Review shines light on failure to upgrade FOI laws
Australian Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon today welcomed the Hawke report on freedom of information laws and called on the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus to honour his stated commitment “to openness and access to government information” by committing to stronger FOI laws.
“The Hawke Review is an embarrassment for the government as it highlights how far Labor has moved away from strengthening public scrutiny of the work of parliament and parliamentarians and the use of public money for these activities,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“The Attorney General’s words about ‘commitment’ to FOI in his response to the Hawke Review ring hollow after the government with the support of the Coalition in June pushed through changes to weaken the FOI laws without waiting to be informed by the Hawke Review.
“The Greens support Dr Allan Hawke’s call for a major overhaul of the FOI Act so it is set out in plain language that can be readily understood.
“It was disappointing that the Attorney General did not immediately commit to this straight forward recommendation that is obviously needed.
“The comprehensive set of 40 recommendations in the Hawke Review highlight the Labor government’s failure to honour their stated commitment to greater transparency in the operation of parliament and government,” Senator Rhiannon said.
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