I’ve had word today that the Government is going to fight last month’s Information Commissioner (IC) ruling that 13 letters from Australian Prime Ministers to the Queen should be published.
I won release of the letters following a long Freedom of Information case going back to 2016 asking for:
Copies of all letters sent from the Prime Minister(s) of Australia to Queen Elizabeth II since 1 January 2013.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) initially refused my request, arguing that it would damage international relations and was not in the public interest for the letters to be disclosed.
I successfully argued my case that the Queen being Australia’s head of state meant all arguments about damaging international relations were wrong. And I won!
However the Government has a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which will lead to another hearing and drag it out a bit longer.
I will be doing what I can to make the case that the letters should be published without further delay.
The role of politicians is to work in the best interests of the people they represent – so it’s only right we are able to know what issues they are raising with the Queen on our behalf.
Help get the letters released!
I’ve now set up a crowdfunding page to raise some money to pay for some of the costs and ensure we can get proper legal advice.
The Government will have a team of publicly funded lawyers and I have… well… me (though I have already had some kind offers of pro bono legal help).
***UPDATE 16 Feb 18***
I’ve written a piece on this for Crikey, Just published today.
[You’ll need an a subscription for the full piece… or sign up for a free trial!]