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Sunday, June 11, 2006

FOI in the news

The Age 5 June: “IR Overhaul based on short “essay” – economic case contains no modelling” - the document that contains the basis for the Federal Government’s workplace reforms consists of a 4 page literature review citing 16 journal articles.

The Australian 5 June:
Military and tankers threaten Barrier Reef” – a Defence Department report reveals that while most naval activity in the Reef area is benign, there are risks particularly from an oil spill:

Chaos after consultant’s reign” - The NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs paid a consultant nearly $270,000 to manage a restructure that, barely a year into its life, has left the upper echelons of the department in disarray.

Irwin’s crocodile letters revealed” - letters to the Minister for the Environment, give an insight into the world famous croc hunter's thoughts on allowing crocodile trophy hunters into the Top End.

Sydney Morning Herald 5 June:
A budget to show if Iemma is in control” – in this pre budget opinion piece the State Political Editor says that documents released under FOI have revealed that by February this year most area health services had achieved only 60 per cent target staff reductions. The Hunter/New England Area Health Service was only 38 per cent toward its target.

Call to trim payroll tax”: the Property Council said NSW Treasury figures it had obtained under FOI showed twice as many NSW businesses paid land tax than payroll tax, because many had payrolls lower than the minimum threshold of $600,000.

The Age 6 June:
FOI: it’s like a painful day at the dentist” – the Age Health Reporter follows up on the recent Victorian Ombudsman report on FOI by recounting her own experiences, particularly delays, in dealing with the Department of Human Services.

Osland resumes fight for FOI papers” – the Victorian Government has gone to the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal finding that documents concerning her application for a pardon for murder should be released because it was in the public interest, despite the fact that they attracted legal professional privilege.

The Daily Telegraph 6 June: “Parents not told of drug risks” - Documents obtained under FOI show the Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Committee (ADRAC) in September 2005 discussed placing warnings on anti depressants about use by people under 19.

The Canberra Times 9 June: “Minister says he is not aware of any plans to sell school sites” – following the ACT Government’s announcement that it will close 39 schools, the Government says community use will have priority despite the fact that documents contained under FOI last year disclosed that valuations had been sought for 4 sites.

The Sydney Morning Herald 10 June: “What they won’t tell you” – in this first in a new column series, the Herald FOI Editor Matthew Moore recounts his unsuccessful attempt to obtain details of the payout to former head of the RTA, Paul Forward.

Sunday Herald Sun 11 June: “Computer bunfight – up to 16 line up” – inconsistencies in computer access in Victorian schools include 16 students per computer at some and 2 per computer at others.

As usual some links are not available.

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