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Monday, December 13, 2010

Red book No 7: AGs incoming government brief released but hardly visible

Thanks for the tip from a reader, perhaps alerted by this AAP report today, that the Attorney General's Department incoming government brief (heavily redacted) has been published and located. Not up on the Department's website along with a statement about how the Department is glad of the opportunity to inform public discussion of matters of great moment, but buried away in a pile of documents requested by senators during the estimates hearings. You'll find it here in response to Question 106 in five separate downloads. The disclosure breaks new ground in that a redacted version of the brief prepared in the event of an opposition election victory has also been released.

There is a lot here on a wide range of topics despite the deletions.Of particular interest- in Section 3 Hot Topics:
Page 48, on a pardon for Allan Kessing, the Department comments generally that a pardon would not be recommended unless the person was morally and technically innocent of the offence, and there is no remaining avenue of appeal against conviction." But adds The Australian has suggested that Minister Albanese's then office was the source of the leak to the media. (Perhaps Minister Albanese might help here.)
Page 57 on consultation with industry on ISP data retention and FOI requests for the consultation materials mostly denied because disclosure may lead to unnecessary concern and reveal law enforcement procedures for investigating breaches of the law
Page 60-what's left on the Haneef cases.

As to the low key approach to disclosure????


  1. Anonymous8:54 pm

    I think it's a bit sneaky, and suggests an inconsistent view within Government about how these things should be done.

    I also wonder whether Minister Albanese's office was consulted on the Kessing briefing...

  2. Anonymous1:22 pm

    why doesn't a journalist just ask Albanese straight out, "Have you met Kessing, personally, in your electorate office and did you ask for further information of the state of Customs failures? Seems pretty simple to me.

  3. Perhaps Minister Albanese, in the spirit of the season, will be on to the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice who has carriage of this according to the brief, to tell what he knows about Kessing being "morally and technically innocent" of the offence as charged?

  4. Anonymous8:29 pm

    Interesting they've used the same approach for the Veterans Affairs Red and Blue Books; they can be found as part of the Defence portfolio responses from the Foreign Affairs & Defence Portfolio committee's budget supplementary estimates. See