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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

FOI knock back for WorkChoices documents has campaign hares running

A decision yesterday by the Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal upholding a government decision to refuse access to documents concerning WorkChoices, has received widespread publicity, including this article in The Age.

The case brought by Michael McKinnon, FOI Editor for Channel 7, was another attempt to test the issue of review rights once a conclusive certificate about a document has been issued under the Federal FOI Act.

The application for these documents was made two and a half years ago!

The decision has become a hot potato for the government today with the suggestion that it is seeking to hide plans for further changes to industrial relations laws, if elected on Saturday. The Prime Minister says no more workplace changes are planned. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that the publicly released Tribunal decision was edited, presumably to avoid disclosure of the information found to be exempt.

The decision hasn't yet been posted on the web, but I am wading through the 78 pages and will offer a comment soon.

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