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Friday, June 05, 2009

Faulkner to the front line at Defence.

Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary Senator John Faulkner has been appointed Minister for Defence, so the open government, accountability and integrity causes lose a good steward, at least from direct carriage of the reform agenda. Defence on the other hand will need to get ready for a shift in gears.

While I have been a critic of the pace and scope of change in some areas such as Freedom of Information and lobbying, there was never any doubt about Faulkner's commitment and serious intent to bring about major changes in these and other fields. He leaves very big shoes-and a big and pressing agenda of unfinished business with FOI and privacy reform proposals still to go to Parliament- to be filled by a successor to be appointed by the Prime Minister in the next few days.
Names of those with an interest, stature and clout to step up and push hard don't come readily to mind. As a senior minister I'm sure Faulkner will continue to be an important voice on these issues around the cabinet table.We wish him well- prepared to overlook entirely his admission that what he knew about blogs could be written on the back of an extremely small postage stamp.

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