[LINK] SMH: 'Protesters stand up to secrecy'

Roger Clarke 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
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

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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