Page 4647 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 19 October 2011

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I am also pleased to advise the Assembly, and I am sure that all Assembly members have been to the website already to check it out, that the new open government website is now operational. I think it is a very good initial step in providing extra information to the community on the work that the government is doing and the information that we have available to us.

I do not know—I have not had any feedback from members on what they think of the open government website already, but the feedback I have had from the community has been very positive. We will continue to build the content on that website as information becomes available. I understand that some of the data around FOI will be ready in the not too distant future to go on that website.

This is a very important first step. I would like to congratulate all the staff who have been involved in putting the specs together for the website and for listening to the response they had through “time to talk” and from other interested people about how we needed to present that website to make it as effective as we could. I hope that it is useful to other Assembly members in the course of their duties as well.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary.

MS PORTER: Chief Minister, you talked about the open government website. What other information will be available on that site and can you enlarge on the access to material issued through freedom of information legislation and access to government data?

MS GALLAGHER: As members will be aware, if you go to the website—I am sure some people will be on it right now—the cabinet summaries are on there as a place to go and click onto those summaries. There are media releases from all directorates and ministers, and live streaming of the Legislative Assembly proceedings—so let us hope nobody has been watching question time today. There are the social media links to all directorates through ACT government Twitter, Facebook and other social media pages. There are links to the community engagement “time to talk” website, and Canberra Connect. Another important step is the datasets available on, including maps, services location, information about bus timetables and location of schools and community facilities. Over time we will get more reports and strategic plans in place, and they will all go on there.

A new FOI policy came into place after 4 October. This means that all government directorates are now required to publish material released to applicants under FOI on the open government website. It is anticipated that the first material under this arrangement could appear as early as next week. It is just taking a bit of time to electronically provide all of those applications, as they are often quite extensive.

The FOI legislation contains a number of exemptions about the release of information which will be honoured by the approach on the open government website. We do think it is important to be able to provide community access to all the information we are releasing through FOI. I think one that might be the first one up has 300-odd separate folders to it, so it is an extensive amount of information that will be provided.

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