It has been reported that a staggering 23,000 submissions and comments have been made to the Albanese Government on Labor’s shocking Misinformation Bill. But none of that material has been released to the public, four weeks after submissions closed on August 20.
Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman has referred the Government’s long delays in releasing its Misinformation Bill submissions to the Federal Information Commissioner.
Originally the Government said the submissions would be released after August 20. It then said they would be released in early September. It is now September 15, and still no submissions have been released.
“There has clearly been a wave of opposition to this deeply flawed Misinformation Bill, but we still don’t know what is contained in these submissions. There is no excuse for the submissions still being secret,” Mr Coleman said.
Mr Coleman said he had written to the Information Commissioner to ask her to report on the Government’s failure to publish submissions on this important Bill.
The Australian Information Commissioner Act allows the Commissioner to report on the collection, use, disclosure, management, administration or storage of, or accessibility to, information held by the Government.
In his letter to the Information Commissioner, Mr Coleman wrote:
I am concerned about the Government’s handling of information related to public submissions on the Misinformation Bill. In my view, the conduct of the Government in relation to this matter clearly triggers the provisions of s.7 (a)(i), and should be a matter that your office investigates.
“It is clearly in the public interest for these submissions to be released, so that everyone can understand the views of Australians on this critical issue.”