[LINK] SMH: 'Protesters stand up to secrecy'
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Thu Oct 12 07:58:15 AEST 2006
Protesters stand up to secrecy
The Sydney Morning Herald
Date: October 12 2006
Matthew Moore Freedom of Information Editor
[it's marvellous how specialised editorships are these days]
RESENTMENT of government secrecy saw about 100 people gather at State
Parliament yesterday to share accounts of how bureaucrats have denied
them access to information.
At a forum to lobby for reform of the NSW Freedom of Information Act,
individuals, community groups and public servants complained about
the difficulty of getting information and the cost and delay when it
was eventually made available.
Michael Linnell from the Central Coast Pure Water Association
complained about his difficulties getting government documents
justifying a decision to fluoridate Gosford's water.
"No government member has the right to hide behind this legislation,"
he said. Gosford residents had twice voted in referendums against
fluoride being added to the water and his group wanted to see the
evidence the government relied on to make its decision.
Stafford Saunders from Action on Smoking and Health said he was
chasing documents from WorkCover about a particular club. He wanted
correspondence from the Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della
Bosca, but all had been refused on the grounds of "ministerial
The forum was organised by the Greens MP Lee Rhiannon who announced
plans to introduce a private members' bill to force a review of the
While the Government has for a decade refused the Ombudsman's call
for a review, and is likely to continue that stance, the forum was
full of people angry at the obstacles.
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
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Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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