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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Governance group 2020 Summit participants

The PM must have taken the entire Government PR team with him to Washington on Friday morning. How else to explain that the list of attendees at the 2020 Summit was announced at 11am that day, but at 5pm there was still no sign of the list on the Government's 2020 website? The only way of knowing who was in was the full list published by the Australian? (The list appeared subsequently).

Then how to explain that almost 850 names were listed alphabetically and by the state from which their nomination came, but no details other than gender were provided, playing right into the hands of those who were looking for the opportunity to sneer? The only recognisable names, and those that led the media reports since, were politicians current and former, journalists, some academics who have national standing and celebrities including a former AFL star?

Good to see Michael McKinnon FOI Editor of Channel 7 and David Solomon the head of the Queensland Review of the FOI Act on the list, but surprised that other FOI experts like Rick Snell and Moira Paterson didn't make it. Paul Chadwick now of the ABC and a former Victorian Privacy Commissioner also has a strong FOI background and was a great choice.

There is a swag of journalists, many well known such as David Marr, Paul Kelly, and yes, Miranda Devine, but few outside Melbourne and journalist circles would figure out that Michael James Harvey of the ACT would seem to be the Melbourne Herald Sun Canberra correspondent convicted last year of contempt of court for refusing to reveal the source of a story.

I see that Andrew Bolt includes in his targets for criticism "Ian McPhee", describing him as a former Liberal Minister who hated John Howard. But surely "Ian McPhee, male, ACT" is the Commonwealth Auditor General? Anyone could make that sort of mistake Andrew.

I've managed to identify all but a few names through the web and am satisfied there are lots of good potential contributors to a discussion about improving the way the Government operates. People like Professor Marian Sawyer, for her work on the Democratic Audit of Australia; Professor Janette Hartz-Karp of Murdoch University, an authority of deliberative democracy; Associate Professor Lyn Carson of the University of Sydney who is behind the Active Democracy website to encourage public participation in decision making; other distinguished academics from media studies, journalism and law faculties; Kristen Hilton of the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic in Melbourne; Olivia Guarna of the Young Workers Legal Service in Adelaide; and Brett Solomon of GetUp

Apart from the complete question marks however, you have to wonder about the inclusion of Senator George Brandis (fresh from 12 years in government); Helen Sham Ho, 5 years after she resigned from the NSW Upper House; the Northern Territory Secretary of the Public Service Union and the head of Unions SA; Erin Adams of NSW presumably the star of the movie "Annie" (or have I done an Andrew Bolt here?); Mauri Ryan of the NT, for whom the only available information is that he is a member of the Mannum Rowing Club(?) ;and Catherine Sampson the Managing Director of Healthy Habits, "Australia's first national sandwich bar brand".

The Government itself should have done a much better job in making us aware of the background of those selected.

I don't know what was behind the thinking that led to the inclusion in the 2020 list of former Premiers Bob Carr and Joan Kirner, but at least they will be busy thinking about the future of the economy and social inclusion respectively and have nothing to do with the governance discussions. What a relief! Bob Carr on open government would be something.

Here is the full list of the Future of Australian Governance Group participants as released:
Mr Martin James Bailey Male WA
Mr Joseph Martin Fernandez Male WA
Ms Pia-Angela Francini Female WA
Ms Alison Lesley Gaines Female WA
Professor Janette Hartz-Karp Female WA
Ms Holly Elizabeth Ransom Female WA
Mr Wayne Francis Scheggia Male WA
Dr Christine (Chrissy) Sharp Female WA
Mr Peter Ajak Male VIC
Professor Judith Margaret Brett Female VIC
Mr Julian William Kennedy Burnside Male VIC
Mr Paul Chadwick Male VIC
Professor Allan Fels Male VIC
Ms Iresha Herath Female VIC
Ms Kristen Anna Isobel Hilton Female VIC
Professor Sarah Louise Joseph Female VIC
Ms Janice Winearls Keynton Female VIC
Dr Terry MacDonald Female VIC
Professor Robert Manne Male VIC
Ms Katherine Dawn Sampson Female VIC
Professor Cheryl Anne Saunders Female VIC
Ms Sally Warhaft Female VIC
Mr Alan Wu Male VIC
Dr Sally Young Female VIC
Mr Benedict Bartl Male TAS
Ms Lyn Mason Female TAS
Rev Professor Michael Tate Male TAS
Ms Olivia Guarna Female SA
Ms Elizabeth Francesca Ho Female SA
Ms Tanya Louise Smith Female SA
Mr Sean Barrett Male QLD
Senator the Hon George Brandis Male QLD
Dr Alexander Jonathon Brown Male QLD
The Honourable Matthew (Matt) Joseph Foley Male QLD
Mr Paul Formosa Male QLD
Ms Bridie Kathleen Jabour Female QLD
Ms Joanne Kelly Female QLD
Professor the Honourable Michael Lavarch Male QLD
Mr Michael McKinnon Male QLD
Mr Alexander McLaughlin Male QLD
Mr Stewart Mcrae Male QLD
Dr David Solomon Male QLD
Dr Anne Tiernan Female QLD
Ms Danielle Vujovich Female QLD
Professor Patrick Weller AO Male QLD
Ms Sarah Jane O'Rourke Female NT
Mr Mauri Japarta Ryan Male NT
Ms Erin Adams Female NSW
Mr Phillip Adams Male NSW
Ms Robin Banks Female NSW
Associate Professor Lyn Carson Female NSW
Professor Greg Craven Male NSW
Associate Professor Kate Jane Crawford Female NSW
Ms Miranda Devine Female NSW
Mr Macgregor Duncan Male NSW
Professor Geoffrey Ian Gallop Male NSW
Ms Kate Gauthier Female NSW
Mr Gerard Henderson Male NSW
Dr Helen Irving Female NSW
Dr Paul Kelly Male NSW
Ms Miriam Lyons Female NSW
Mr David Marr Male NSW
Mr Simon Rice Male NSW
The Honourable Helen Sham-Ho Female NSW
Professor Christopher Dominic Sidoti Male NSW
Mr Brett Solomon Male NSW
Associate Professor Anne Frances Twomey Female NSW
Professor Hillary Charlesworth Female ACT
Mr Harry Evans Male ACT
The Honourable Justice Mary Gaudron Female ACT
Ms Susan Gail Harris Rimmer Female ACT
Mr Michael James Harvey Male ACT
Ms Janet Eileen Hunt Female ACT
Sir Anthony Mason Male ACT
Mr Ian McPhee Male ACT
Ms Jamila Helen Rizvi Female ACT
Professor Marian Sawer Female ACT
Ms Amelia Mary Simpson Female ACT
Professor George John Williams Male ACT
Sir William Deane Male ACT
Ms Janet Giles Female SA
Ms Amy Sarah King Female
Prof Julianne Schultz Female
Mr Kerry Stokes Male NSW
Mr Howard Whitton Male

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