DO YOU HAVE A ‘RIGHT TO KNOW’?
The Right to Information Act 2009 was designed to improve the transparency of government decision making by giving citizens, journalists, politicians and NGOs timely access to the information supporting government decisions.
To celebrate international Right to Know week, Community Legal Centres Tasmania hosted a free event discussing how the Right to Information Act 2009 operates in practice, and whether it is achieving its aims.
Renowned expert on access to information, UTAS Acting Dean of Law School and Associate Professor Rick Snell, presented a “frank and fearless assessment of Tasmania’s RTI framework”, followed by a panel discussion featuring:
- Richard Connock, Tasmanian Ombudsman
- Cassy O’Connor, Leader of the Tasmanian Greens
- Madeleine Ogilvie, Labor Shadow Minister for Open Government & Information Integrity
- David Killick, Political Reporter, The Mercury
- Dale Webster, Executive Director for Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, Department of Justice
The forum heard that additional resources are needed with Tasmanian Ombudsman Richard Connock noting that “the level of funding across public authorities, such as government departments and local government, and this office, together with a lack of education and training does not necessarily lead to the best outcomes… Without adequate funding, either for this office or across public authorities, the process is compromised, efficiencies are diminished, and democracy is not best served.”
An article about the forum was punished in The Advocate and The Examiner on 26th September 2017 and can be accessed here: