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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3880 ..

This is information that this government itself put up on a public website that is accessible and, despite what the Minister for Health says about the information, it was this government that put it up. It was this government that was careless with very private, very confidential, very personal information about its own citizens. So she cannot come to this place and tell off the media for doing their job. This is a website; so I do not know where she comes from. In my world, when you put something up on a website it is accessible and it is accessible to a lot of people, not just Canberrans. This is an extraordinary response, an extraordinary response from a government that has engaged in a serious, serious failure in its duty of care to its citizens.

The Special Minister of State’s amendment, after the arrogant response from last week, at least accepts that he is going to refer the matter to the Australian Information Commissioner. This is after the initial brush-off about whether there was even a breach in the first place.

The Canberra Liberals will not be supporting his amendment because it seeks to absolutely absolve the responsibility of the minister and the responsibility of this Labor-Greens government that has let down not only the 30,000 ACT public servants who entrusted this government with their personal information but the entire community by being lax, by showing absolute disrespect to citizens’ private data. That is why we will not be supporting this amendment.

I finish this debate with some quotes from the Canberra Times editorial on Sunday:

… the government needs to admit the error of releasing the spreadsheet. Then, it needs to work to rebuild the community’s trust in how it handles personal information.

Citizens need to be able to trust their governments with their information. Mistakes will be made, but they should never be made twice.

Privacy is a real issue, not an excuse to use when seeking to avoid scrutiny or the release of information that can’t be linked to an individual.

We will not be supporting the government’s amendment.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 14

Noes 8

Ms Berry

Ms Orr

Mr Cain

Mr Parton

Mr Braddock

Dr Paterson

Ms Castley

Ms Burch

Mr Pettersson

Mr Hanson

Ms Cheyne

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Kikkert

Ms Clay

Mr Steel

Ms Lawder

Ms Davidson

Ms Stephen-Smith

Ms Lee

Mr Gentleman

Ms Vassarotti

Mr Milligan

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