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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 November 2011) . . Page.. 5271 ..


MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what sort of response have you received from the community in relation to this?

Mr Hanson: The Canberra Times is impressed.

MS GALLAGHER: Indeed, I can hear Mr Hanson interjecting that the Canberra Times is very impressed. I met with the editor, and he fully supports the measures that we have taken around open government. We had a very good discussion about the measures that have been put in place. Mr Hanson might like to sit there and smirk. These are important reforms—reforms that we would actually like you to say that you would support because you are incredibly silent on it. None of you actually have a view on open government.

The paper is very supportive of the reforms that we are putting in place. Yes, they may have views around how the FOI Act is applied. Indeed, it is their right to pursue the avenues that are available to the applicant for review of those decisions, as they feel appropriate.

But in terms of open government, in terms of the cabinet summaries, in terms of the FOI, the fact that we are even having this discussion and the paper is having this discussion is actually very positive because what it means is that people are understanding more and more that more information than has ever been available before is now available to the community for their consideration and interest—much more than was ever available under Mr Smyth when he was in government, much more than was available even six months ago. The fact that we are actually debating open government, that there is a reform agenda underway that those opposite have no view about, is an important part of the open government agenda.

I am very proud of the work that the bureaucracy has done in terms of supporting the government’s work in this area, and there will be more coming.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, ACT Labor promised in 2001 that it would release cabinet documents after six years. Why do you continue to break this promise?

MS GALLAGHER: I understand it was the Liberals’ position, too, at that point in time but I am not sure what their view is on it now. It is the normal practice in this place that governments are measured on their election commitments at the next election. Indeed, we are very busy implementing all the election commitments we made to the people of Canberra in 2008. While you sit there and do nothing, and have done nothing for three years, we are actually rolling out the election commitments that we went to the people with in 2008. We will be judged on them in 2012, and we will have a very good, strong record to campaign on.


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