Media release: Celebrating Citizens’ Right to Information—27 September 2010

Information Commissioner Julie Kinross announced today that Queensland, it will be hosting in partnership with the Queensland Government the most significant right to know events in Australia in 2010.

In September 2007, the Queensland government commissioned an independent and comprehensive review of Queensland’s freedom of information legislation, chaired by Dr David Solomon AM.

The Bligh government announced its intention of making Queensland the most open and accountable government in Australia and accepted in full or in part most of the recommendations of the FOI review.

The Premier drove the initiative of reforms and as a result Queensland has a new regulatory framework, the Right to Information Act 2009.

Ms Kinross said, “The new framework moves the Queensland government to an information ‘push’ model whereby agencies and Ministers must now publish information as a matter of course including strategic information assets. The starting point is that all information is open. Access to public sector information must be provided unless, on balance, it is contrary to the public interest.”

“A more informed community is one that can better scrutinise government making it more accountable, contribute to public debate and solve problems”, Ms Kinross said.

To celebrate these reforms the Office of the Information Commissioner in partnership with Queensland government is hosting two events. The first, in recognition of Dr Solomon’s work on the FOI Review, is the annual Solomon Lecture which will be held on the evening of 27 September at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) on the banks of the Brisbane River. The lecture will be delivered by Don Watson on the theme of "accessibility of public language".

On 28 September, the ‘Right to Information Day Forum’ will be held at the Sofitel, Brisbane Central with presentations by Queensland’s Attorney-General, Professor Beth Noveck (Leader of President Obama’s open government reforms), Bernard Salt (Demographer) and Dr Nicholas Gruen (Chair of Government 2.0 taskforce) among others.

“These events celebrate right to information reform and present a great opportunity to champion the new open access regime across the public sector”, Ms Kinross said.

Media contact: Mr Steve Haigh, Manager, Training and Stakeholder Relations
Phone: 07 3405 1111