The report makes 61 recommendations for reform, "including a new and principled framework designed to reinforce open and accountable government while ensuring adequate protection for Commonwealth information that should legitimately be kept confidential." There would seem to be years of work ahead within government in undertaking the recommended agency review of 506 secrecy provisions in 176 pieces of legislation, including 358 criminal secrecy offences, but acceptance of a framework, principles to underpin the approach, and a move towards consistency would be a good thing.
has caused, or is likely or intended to cause, harm to identified public interests: damage the security, defence or international relations of the Commonwealth; prejudice the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of criminal offences;endanger the life or physical safety of any person; or prejudice the protection of public safety.
There are some important "culture" and freedom of information issues in the report and recommendations, to be the subject of another post soon.
I was a member of the ALRC Advisory Committee for this reference, but our contribution was merely that. Thanks to former president Professor David Weisbrot, his successor Professor Ros Croucher who conducted the inquiry, the staff and other members of the committee for some interesting discussion, and a job well done.