Page 670 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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run in an appropriate and proper manner, and in a manner that advances the public interest.

Those are the issues that are at play. That is why the government is proposing these changes. Again, this is not a radical change. This is not a provision that will inhibit people’s ability to obtain information, but it will ensure that ministers are able to do their job properly, account to parliament properly and account to parliament’s committees properly. That is why the government is proposing these amendments.

Question put:

That proposed new clause 3B be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 9

Mr Barr

Mr Stanhope

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Ms Burch

Mr Coe

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Question so resolved in the negative.

Proposed new clause 3B negatived.

Clause 4.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.50): The government will be opposing this clause [see schedule 1 at page 707].

I would like to add some discussion as to why the government will be opposing this clause. This clause removes section 34 conclusive certificates at this time. Section 35 protects the commonwealth-state relations. There is an existing protection in the FOI act to protect security of information, and I note that Mrs Dunne does not propose to remove that. But this section deals with communications between the territory and other state and territory governments and the commonwealth government. These communications may include matters of a security nature which do not meet the threshold requirements of the provisions of section 37A.

An exemption under section 37A relates to documents the disclosure of which would or could reasonably be expected to cause damage to security or defence of the commonwealth, territory or state or the international relations of the commonwealth. Some security matters may not meet the threshold of this test but, nevertheless, may be information about security which communicated in confidence by the commonwealth, a state or a territory to the territory. The removal of conclusive

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