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Monday, October 19, 2009

New chairs at the seat of power

Michael Cooley Senior Adviser to the Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, takes up the position of Senior Adviser - Governance and Probity in the Prime Minister’s office today. Now it's a good thing the PM has someone nearby with that title and another good thing it's someone like Cooley. But the team that came in with background, experience and commitment to Freedom of Information reform (and the whole raft of other promised integity reforms) when the Government came to office - Senator Faulkner ( the first ministerial appointee and now Minister for Defence), Kate Harrison as Chief of Staff to the Minister (who followed Faulkner to Defence) and now Cooley - have all moved on, while we are yet to get the reform bill into Parliament, let alone up and running. After close to two years. High priority reform? Queensland, NSW and (soon) Tasmania have shown Canberra a clean pair of heels on this one.

Good luck and best wishes to Cooley and to Cecelia Burgman, an adviser to Senator Ludwig, who will take responsibility in the Minister's office, for Privacy, Freedom of Information and Archives. And to those of us still waiting for change.

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