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Friday, February 29, 2008

Victorian FOI amendments: baby out with bathwater

It wasn't just the vexatious applicant provision, and the proposed extension of time up to 75 days to process Freedom of Information applications that didn't survive through the Victorian Legislative Council yesterday - even the good bits went as the entire Bill failed to gain majority support. On crucial votes, the Council split 20-20, with the Greens and opposition parties just managing in effect to vote the legislation down. Where this leaves FOI reform in Victoria is uncertain. The Attorney General is quoted in The Age as saying the Opposition will have to wear the opprobrium of denying the public easier and cheaper access to FOI.

For those interested in the detail, debate starts on page 25 of the Council Hansard for 28 February.

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