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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Final FOI report heralds new era in access to government information

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Final FOI report heralds new era in access to government information

    Queensland’s pioneering approach to the provision of public access to government-held documents reached another milestone this week.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick has tabled the 17th and final Freedom of Information Act annual report in Parliament.

    He said the FOI Act had now been replaced by the Bligh Government’s right-to-information laws, which provide even greater public access to government documents.

    “The Freedom of Information Act was replaced by the Right to Information Act and the Information Privacy Act in July 2009, marking a new era in access to information in this state,” Mr Dick said.

    “The final FOI Act annual report, which covers the 2008-09 period, shows that 14,081 applications for access to information were lodged during the last year of the Act’s operation, representing an increase of 761, or 5.7 per cent, on the previous year.

    “Of those, the State Government received 12,776 applications and local governments received 1305.

    “From these applications, the community was given access to 1.76 million pages of information, either in full or in part – representing 85 per cent of the documents considered overall.

    “Although 15 per cent of documents were refused, it must be noted that more than half of those were refused because of personal privacy reasons.”

    Mr Dick said the 2008-09 FOI Act annual report was the last report prepared under the now-repealed Freedom of Information Act.

    “Under the new laws introduced by the Bligh Government, Queensland is well and truly the most open and accountable government in Australia,” he said.

    “Our reforms are even being copied by other jurisdictions, with the Federal Government introducing an Information Commissioner similar to Queensland’s model, and the New South Wales Government adopting our concepts of proactive release and disclosure logs.

    “Greater access to government information helps contribute to well-informed public debate, which is a cornerstone of Australia’s democratic system of government.

    “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of FOI staff across government, particularly during the reporting period for this report.

    “Machinery-of-government changes that occurred during the 2008–09 financial year made the collation of data a little more challenging but the result is a comprehensive report that reflects the administrative changes that took place.”

    Media contact:
    Office of the Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3487