Page 1628 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Seselja!

MS GALLAGHER: If you go and read that, it provides for third-party refusal of release of information. That is the stage we are at at the moment. There is more to be done. At this point, based on the FOI Act and the application of it—and, yes, advice has been sought about this—I am very confident that this has been dealt with in accordance with the FOI Act, as is appropriate.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, are you saying that the third-party refusal is the only reason why all documents have not been released as part of that FOI request?

MS GALLAGHER: No. You can see the reasons are extensive; they are contained in the letter which is provided online, as I understand, the covering letter around the application. But in relation to a certain amount of documents, third-party consultation was sought. Exemptions were sought under that section of the act, and a decision was taken by the decision maker, as is appropriate. There are further stages where this can go if the applicant proposes to pursue it, as is right under law, and this will be dealt with appropriately and transparently under law.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, why should the Canberra community have confidence in the concern you expressed about this matter given your secrecy over the release of documents?

MS GALLAGHER: It is not my secrecy, Mr Doszpot, and I have been clear about the concerns I have had in relation to this matter at every step of the way. An FOI application has been submitted. It has been dealt with under the law as it applies, as is appropriate, as I expect for every single FOI application that is put in. There are reasons that are outlined in the letter from the decision maker. I believe at this stage of the process that the decisions taken were appropriate.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, as a director you have the power under the act to direct the ACTEW board to undertake certain actions. Will you now direct them to release the report in this new era of openness and accountability?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not a director and Mr Smyth knows that. Shareholders do have particular powers under the Territory-owned Corporations Act. I would say that open government, as you like to choose to use it from time to time, does not—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: At every stage of the way as we are going through an open government reform I have said that it is not a free-for-all on every document, that

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