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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 27 October 2015) . . Page.. 3649 ..

examples of transparency and openness in the way this government operates. (Time expired.)

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (4.19): I welcome the opportunity to discuss the issue of transparency in government today and I thank Mr Hanson for bringing the topic forward. There are, of course, many elements to this discussion. I will speak about a few particular ones today and I will perhaps reflect on some of the examples that Mr Hanson gave.

Certainly as members have evidently seen, based on the interjections, an article was run today about the upcoming freedom of information legislation I intend to introduce that is modelled on the Queensland legislation that has been in place for a number of years. This bill creates a statutory right of access to information held by government where it is not contrary to the public interest for that information to be disclosed and sets out a clear framework for determining the public interest in the disclosure or nondisclosure of government-held information. The bill removes the class-based exemptions that exist under the current FOI scheme and recognises that the public interest in disclosure of information will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the particular information in question rather than the class of information that it happens to be a part of.

This, I think, is an exciting reform. I intend to bring that legislation forward to the Assembly as soon as possible. I am in the final stages of drafting it but certainly from a Greens’ point of view that is a commitment we very clearly have to ensuring that there is ongoing transparency of government. That sort of architecture is the sort of thing that provides—and you can have the day-to-day spats about particular things—ongoing transparency in a way that is registered in the law. That is something that I look forward to discussing further in this place when I bring the bill in and I look forward to, no doubt, support from the Liberal Party for that legislation. They might be able to overcome the in-principle approach they have taken all this term which is to not even work with me on legislation, which is a sad indictment of their time on the opposition bench. But there is an opportunity to do something here that is very concrete, very real, that will provide mechanisms for ongoing, improved levels of transparency in our freedom of information legislation.

I was intrigued by Mr Hanson’s starting point today in this debate. The first example he gave was the fact that Minister Corbell would not disclose the cost of the possible light rail extension to Russell. This, of all the things he could have talked about, was an intriguing example of Mr Hanson’s priorities. Mr Hanson may not be aware but all ministers have been briefed, on the advice from the capital metro board and the various probity guidelines that have been put to us, and will not been told what that cost is until the assessment process is completed. Therefore it cannot be disclosed at this point in time.

It is a really interesting approach that Mr Hanson has, which is that the government should signal exactly what price it wants to pay for something rather than going to a competitive process. One of the tensions for government is that we want to get the

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