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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Earth moves:Treasury releases legal advice

Hard to tell if this is a welcome sign of new times or an example based on an unknown formula for selective exercise of a discretion to disclose an otherwise exempt document, but in any event the release by Treasury in response to a Freedom of Information application of legal advice from the Australian Government Solicitor is a rare event. Particularly as the advice was that the super profits tax could be found to be unconstitutional if just one State changed a royalty rate. The advice (Constitutional issues) along with other documents released in response to its application is on the West Australian's webpage. Opposition Senator Brandis caught AGS on the hop, apparently unaware of the disclosure, when he asked questions (taken on notice) at this Senate Estimates hearing last Monday, questions based on the reasonable premise that privilege had been waived by release.Legal and Constitutional Affairs  (L&C 110)

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