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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

End of road for attempt at special FOI protection for "National Cabinet"

 Schedule 3 of the previous government's COAG Legislation Amendment Bill is for the dustbin, as Attorney General Dreyfus made clear on The Law Report last month

" .. it's our view that the meetings of First Ministers are ones that, if there is a need to provide protection from Freedom of Information applications, then the exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act that have been there since the first enactment of Freedom of Information in Australia in 1982, which protect Commonwealth-state relations that those exemptions are the ones which should be relied on. What we don't want to see is the creation of unnecessary secrecy. What we don't want to see is reliance on an exemption that applies to the meetings of Federal Cabinet incorrectly applied to meetings between First Ministers of the states, territories and the Commonwealth."

Whether other mainly administrative provisions in other legislation concerning First Minister meetings are viewed necessary by the new government remains to be seen.

Nothing so far to indicate they wish to change the misleading label.