After the 18 month battle, McKinnon may not have been amused that the minister responsible for indigenous affairs Jenny Macklin says she wasn't part of all this, but is pleased the report is now in the public arena. A brave face after the event maybe. The taxpayer might be even less amused at the cost to date, with the Tribunal still to consider an application by McKinnon for costs, although the criteria for an ex gratia payment from the Attorney General in these circumstances puts the degree of difficulty in the eye of the needle class.
From ABC AM:
SABRA LANE: You said the Government asked for this strategic review but it did not want this information released publicly. Why did you fight a long legal campaign with Channel Seven to stop this information from being released?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well, that wasn't actually me. I don't own this report. This was a report done by the Department of Finance and as I understand it, that had more to do with the way in which the Government implementing its freedom of information rules.
But the issue for me is, this was a very important review. We asked for it to be done. We want to make sure that the money that we are spending on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to close the gap, which is so important to all Australians, is in fact done.
SABRA LANE: But still you say it is an important report, you are part of the Government, why didn't you insist on this being made public?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well, I am now; I am pleased that we have it in the public arena that it is clear to the Australian people that we have an enormous amount to do. The problems we face that are demonstrated in this review did not just emerge in the last couple of years. They came about through serious problems in governments of all political persuasions over a long period of time and the job now is to address those problems.