Brandis Keeps Fighting Using Your Taxes To Suppress Release Of Diary

Attorney-General George Brandis has once again proven his disdain for transparency, using taxpayers' money to go all the way to the Full Federal Court to try to avoid processing an FOI request for his ministerial diary.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

BRANDIS KEEPS FIGHTING USING YOUR TAXES TO SUPPRESS RELEASE OF DIARY

 

Attorney-General George Brandis has once again proven his disdain for transparency, using taxpayers' money to go all the way to the Full Federal Court to try to avoid processing an FOI request for his ministerial diary.

 

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus made the original FOI request to determine which stakeholders had met with Senator Brandis ahead of his decisions to slash funding for community legal services and the arts. 
 

On 22 December 2015, Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Justice Jayne Jagot ordered Senator Brandis to process Mr Dreyfus’s FOI request for excerpts of his ministerial diary. Justice Jagot’s judgment found no substance to Senator Brandis' claims that releasing the diary would be too great an administrative burden, and found it to be in the public interest.

 

Senator Brandis will now spend tens of thousands more taxpayers' money appealing this decision to be heard by a bench of three Federal Court judges.

 

“It is extraordinary that Senator Brandis would go to such great lengths to avoid dealing with such a simple FOI request," said Mr Dreyfus.

 

“Other ministers, including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, have had no difficulty in processing similar requests. Does Senator Brandis think he is above the rules, or does he have something to hide?

 

"This is the Minister who shows the most flagrant disregard for taxpayers' money, who'll happily pay $12,000 of your taxes for new bookshelf. 

 

"This is an extraordinary waste of public money, even by Senator Brandis's opulent standards."

  

Senator Brandis’s obstinate approach to FOI show why his moves to dump the independent FOI watchdog and put himself in charge of the FOI system should be rejected. 

 

"Senator Brandis is meant to protect the integrity of the FOI system and yet has shown nothing but disdain for it in this case," Mr Dreyfus said.

 

"His arguments were rejected once and I'm confident they will be rejected again by the Court.

 

"This is a total waste of money."

WEDNESDAY, 20 JANUARY 2016