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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Piecemeal discovery of the sunshine solution.

In a column in today's Sydney Morning Herald I welcome the use of the t-word-transparency- now cropping up as part of the proferred solution being put forward by our leaders to to all sorts of problems, but suggest piecemeal use of the term is no substitute for a comprehensive commitment to open and accountable government and implementation plans to give life to the policy. There are widespread practices that are inconsistent with the frequent micro calls being made for greater transparency in this field or that.

The editor took the scissors to one paragraph in the middle of the column. The words in italics were in the original but not the published version:
"In NSW, after years when government leaders seemed to revel in the state’s reputation as the secret state, Premier Rees flagged an overhaul of freedom of information legislation “as part of efforts to improve both transparency and accountability of government”. This was also a reason for bringing Railcorp back into the fold as a state government agency. No details yet, but on the down-side NSW monthly accounts, usually released within weeks of month-end, are yet to appear for June. And no we can’t see any contract with the organisers of World Youth Day or for the V8 races at Homebush. As for any cost benefit analysis, the Premier says believe it, we’re miles in front."

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