News

Calls for more to be done on Freedom of Information laws

THE head of the Office of the Australian Information Commission has called on the Federal Government to improve Freedom of Information laws, in a submission to a review of the laws.

Commissioner Professor John McMillan and the Freedom of Information Commissioner Dr James Popple were involved in writing the submission.

While the submission acknowledged the Labor Government's progress towards its 2007 commitment to "open government", it has called for more to be done.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner itself was an early result of that promise, when it was established in 2010, after reforms of the FOI Act in that year.

Proposals were made by the commissioner included regulatory streamlining of the act, to prevent unnecessary delays in releasing information.

"Rather than replacing the old FOI Act, the 2010 amendments were woven into the original structure," the commissioner wrote.

"This has resulted in a piece of legislation that is unwieldy, confusing, and at times, difficult to interpret."

The current review, led by Professor Allan Hawke, was ordered by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, to improve the Act.

But since ordering the review, Ms Roxon has made public comments outlining potential increases to application costs among other changes which could make it more difficult for the public and media to access government records.

The commissioner has also called for a complete national plan on FOI laws, a renewal of its commitments and a promotion campaign of open government reforms.

"A great deal has been done across government in the last two years to embed those reforms in government practise," the commissioner wrote.

"However, there has not since been the same explicit promotion of open government reforms and cultural change by the government as occurred in 2009-10."

The review was expected to be completed in April, with the full report tabled in parliament.

Topics:  federal government, freedom of information




Check out this memorable gift for Ipswich

Ipswich and District Athletic Club runners Nicholas Grant and Larissa Chambers after winning the latest Ipswich Gift races.

Winning sprint double in handicap races

Park named in honour of one-punch victim

IN MEMORY: A Goodna park has been named in honour of fatal assault victim Lindsay Ede.

Goodna park officially renamed Lindsay Ede Memorial Reserve

Is a serial tree poisoner at large in Ipswich?

TIMBER!: Tree loppers begin to remove six ornamental Ficus microcarpa trees at Queens Park in the interest of public safety.

Historic trees come tumbling down in Queens Park

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


What's on this week

GRAB A BARGAIN: The Cameron Park Market is held on the first Saturday of every month.

Five things to do in Ipswich

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

Navy man Keller ready to marry a perfect stranger

Former Navy engineer Keller is a participant in season three of Married At First Sight.

Tattoos are just the surface of Married At First Sight groom.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa