Labor welcomes Information Commissioner backdown

Another day, another backdown from this government.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

LABOR WELCOMES INFORMATION COMMISSIONER BACKDOWN

 

Another day, another backdown from this government.

 

Labor applauds Attorney-General George Brandis for finally accepting the need to preserve the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, two years after attempting to abolish it.

 

Labor fought against the abolition of this key agency, which plays an important role in overseeing our Freedom of Information system and performing government information policy functions.

We are glad the government has finally come to appreciate its significance too.

 

Labor welcomes the appointment of Tim Pilgrim as Information Commissioner, and his re-appointment as the Privacy Commissioner.

 

Mr Pilgrim has been acting in both roles for over a year while the future of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner remained in limbo, negotiating a heavy workload. The continued proper functioning of both offices is a testament to his abilities.

 

However Labor remains concerned that, 20 months on, this government has also not seen fit to appoint a replacement to the role of Freedom of Information Commissioner. This too is a key part of our Freedom of Information system which has been abandoned by the government.

 

It is unacceptable to leave a role like this vacant for so long. But then, as his refusal to comply with basic FOI requests shows, Senator Brandis is no friend of transparency.

 

Labor calls on the government and Senator Brandis to end this limbo and appoint a replacement Freedom of Information Commissioner without delay.

 

THURSDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2016