La­bor ‘se­crecy’ lam­basted

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News -

The La­bor State Govern­ment has come un­der fire for se­crecy around pub­lic ac­cess to doc­u­ments, which the Times un­der­stands in­cludes mul­ti­ple re­quests for the busi­ness case and items re­lated to the Bus­sel­ton Air­port re­de­vel­op­ment.

The WA Na­tion­als crit­i­cised the Govern­ment for its lack of trans­parency this week fol­low­ing crit­i­cism af­ter Premier Mark McGowan, while in Op­po­si­tion, pledged to do bet­ter than the Bar­nett Govern­ment, which reg­u­larly cited com­mer­cial con­fi­den­tial­ity to thwart ac­cess to doc­u­ments.

Na­tion­als boss Mia Davies said the Premier’s prom­ise of a “gold stan­dard” in trans­parency was “in tat­ters”.

The Govern­ment had “hid­den be­hind a cloak of se­crecy on im­por­tant re­gional is­sues”, she said.

Since May, 2017, Na­tion­als MPs have lodged 37 FOI re­quests, 10 of which were de­layed more than 100 days. Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan said the air­port “busi­ness case is Cab­i­net-in-Con­fi­dence un­der the pre­vi­ous govern­ment”.

“Re­leas­ing the busi­ness case may also un­der­mine com­mer­cially sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion for the City of Bus­sel­ton,” she said.

“Once ne­go­ti­a­tions with air­lines are com­plete, we will be happy to re­lease the busi­ness case if the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion and the City of Bus­sel­ton agree.”

City of Bus­sel­ton chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Archer said the doc­u­ment was con­trolled by the South West De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

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