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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stuart Morris QC coming to grips with NBN and FOI

On 16 April Attorney General Nicola Roxon announced that an "eminent person" would undertake a statutory review of the application of Freedom of Information to NBN Co, the company responsible for implementing the National Broadband Network. The review is to be completed by 30 June 2012, and the report tabled in Parliament. Terms of reference were published but user experience in dealing with NBN Co didn't get a look in.The  NBN Co website makes no mention of the review.

On 20 May, I emailed the Attorney General's office asking if an appointment had been made, if so , who, and if not when could this be expected? No reply but having asked again this week, the name, Stuart Morris QC, former justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, appeared yesterday on the Attorney General's Department website. 

His surprise early resignation as President of VCAT generated media interest in 2007, The Age describing him as "colourful and controversial." While his main game appears to be planning law, Mr Morris had his share of FOI cases in VCAT, and memorably, had his decision in the Osland case stand up to High Court scrutiny. 

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