au: Secrecy impedes informed discourse
Posted in: Government & Policy at 26/10/2007 01:58
by Ken McKinnon, chairman of the Australian Press Council
The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader need to do much more to remove impediments to the free flow of information to the public. It is not the media that John Howard's proposals and those of Kevin Rudd will have to satisfy. Citizens are entitled to know details of what the federal government claims to be doing in their name.
Howard's Government has been the most secretive of modern times. A good illustration is the way in which it opposed, all the way to the High Court, anodyne requests for information about bracket creep and grants for new home owners. How can Peter Costello accuse the Opposition in this election of not knowing enough about bracket creep when under the existing Freedom of Information law he issued a conclusive certificate denying access to the information? His refusal was subsequently upheld by the High Court.