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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not just a poor week for open government in NSW

Saturday's editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald opened with the sentence "This has been a poor week for open government" in NSW and went on to outline developments on a number of fronts to prove the point. That's only half of it. There is plenty of evidence of an ongoing culture of secrecy. As the Herald says: "The starting point for policy makers and bureaucrats of any kind is that everything must be kept secret, never mind who or what is damaged by the secrecy".

The editorial continued:
"Unwelcome though the thought is in a mature democracy, Australians are so used to secrecy and comfortable with bullying and subterfuge that many of us seem to have forgotten the virtues of openness and honesty".
I think the Herald is wrong in concluding: "It is a sad reflection on 21st century Australia: we see the gag so often applied that we have learnt to like it".

There is no evidence we have learnt to like the penchant for secrecy but we need to be more vigilant and more outspoken in demanding better of our leaders.

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