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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Queensland's Bligh first into the new era

The Queensland Parliament passed the Government's Right to Information and (Public Sector) Information Privacy bills on Tuesday, both supported by the Opposition. The only amendments approved to the bills as introduced were the Government's technical amendments. The Opposition was unsuccessful with amendments to the RTI Bill to replace the "publish on the web no sooner than 24 hours after release" provision with 30 days, prompted by strong media lobbying, and to cap charges for any application at $1000; and with an amendment to the IP Bill to require notification to the person concerned of a breach of privacy principles, although the Premier undertook to look at guidance to agencies to notify in the event of a serious breach.

The IP legislation is hardly new era- largely giving statutory effect to administrative directions in place for some years, and with a commitment to look again after the Federal Government has responded to the Australian Law Reform Commission recommendations for national Unified Privacy Principles.

RTI on the other hand is new and a big positive step in the right direction. Now for the hard part-making good on the RTI promise of a new era of open and accountable government.

The Hansard record of debate is here.PDF. Lots of well deserved acknowledgements of the ground breaking work of David Solomon and his committee.

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