Australian people deserve to know the truth from the Government. Sadly, Governments forget that they work for us and often try to hide things from us.
I use Freedom of Information (FOI), Questions on Notice and Senate Orders of Production of Documents to uncover corruption and sneaky plans within the government.
My mission to uncover the facts and reveal dirty deals to you has earned me the nickname Inspector Rex.
There are several ways I can get access to information:
Freedom of Information
Questions on Notice
Orders for Production
|For Everyone||For Senators||Requires Senate Agreement||Requires Senate Agreement|
Freedom of Information (FOI) gives all Australians a legally enforceable right to request access to government-held information.
This includes information held about government policies and decisions.You can request to see what information the Government holds about you, HERE.
Senators can ask a question of a Minister on any topic at any time.
Questions must be answered within 30 days.
Any Senator can ask the Senate to order the Government to hand over documents to the Senate or a Committee of the Senate.
These are like a court subpoena. If a Government refuses to respond to an order for production, the Senate can fine or even jail an official.
Senators can ask the Senate to agree to an inquiry into a topic.
Inquiries can look into any matter related to the topic. They take submission and hold hearings.
Read my orders for production below
Read my inquiries below
Freedom of Information
The Prime Minister wrapped a secrecy blanket around the inter-governmental body he called the “National Cabinet”. I lifted the blanket with Justice White saying that National Cabinet is not a Cabinet.
Auditor General Censored
In 2018 the Attorney General, Christian Porter, used a very unusual power to censor an audit report that was tabled in the Senate. The Auditor was quite certain that the contents were not sensitive and so I challenged the censorship of the document by seeking it under FOI. Deputy President Britton-Jones agreed.
National Radioactive Waste Facility Management
The Government’s processes around the selection of a site for a proposed NRWMF was flawed and blanketed in secrecy. I gained access to a number of documents in relation to the selection process:
I also won the decision to release the letters between the Federal and State Government, but they are yet to be published.
It wasn’t until I made a few FOI's that I realised the Federal Government was trying to steal our submarine full cycle docking work and shift it to WA. The documents were only partially released to me. After a three year battle, it’s been determined that the information that Defence thought was sensitive was not sensitive. Reasons are on the way.
The future submarine project has gone from a very expensive $50 billion to $100 billion, but how much did the French supplier originally offer to sell us submarines for? I won the battle.
Defence have appealed the decision. I’ve had to go up against 6 lawyers in the appeal. I’m awaiting the decision.
The SA Royal Commission into the Murray Darling was highly critical of the CSIRO. I wanted to see how they responded to that criticism.
I also spent some time with the Information Commissioner arguing that a valuation in the #watergate scandal should be released. Just before the decision was made, the Department capitulated and gave me what I wanted. It showed that the Government had pay $13 million too much for the water.
I wanted to see where SA Forestry were selling their logs and what their plans were for the future – to make sure that SA sawmills were getting the logs they need:
School Waiting Lists
The SA Department of Education tried to tell me that school waiting lists in and around the CBD were confidential. Wrong! The Ombudsman forced the Department to provide me with the information. The decision is not published but you can read a story about it here.
There are some secrets within cabinet meetings, but there is no reason that the date a cabinet or sub-committee sits should be held from the public. The Information Commissioner agreed.
When Officials travel on the public purse, the public are entitled to see how much money was spent and how it was spent. The Department of Defence didn’t want me to see what one of their employee's spending on work related travel. The Information Commissioner overturned the Department’s decision. It’s your money and you can check out how it’s spent.
Questions on Notice
Orders for Protection
- Strategic Water purchases
The Senate asked the Government to table all decisions and associated decision reasoning for all purchases of water across the Basin from 1 January 2017, and all valuations/assessments in the Government’s possession related to each of these purchases, including independent valuations/ assessments.
- SDL Adjustment Measurements
The Senate asked the Government to table all assessments of the 36 adjustment mechanism projects completed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), including all individual proposal assessment information given to SDLAAC or BOC by the MDBA to inform their decision to support or not support a SDL adjustment or constraints proposal.
- SDL Modelling
The Senate asked the Government to table the final modelled notified package for all adjustment mechanism projects and the current project status of all adjustment mechanism projects.
- SA Murray Darling Royal Commission Documents
The Senate asked the Government to table all documents that had been requested by the Royal Commission, but had been refused on the basis that the Federal Government did not think it was required to obey the subpoena.
- Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder—Induction briefing
The Senate asked the Government to table documents provided to Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Ms Jody Swirepik, as an induction briefing, including its cover brief and all attachments.
National Radioactive Waste Management Facility
The Senate asked the Government to table a definition of the decision criteria ‘broad community support’ and all information used by him to determine that proceeding to the next phase of assessment for the two proposed sites for a radioactive waste management facility at Kimba had ‘broad community support’.
The Senate asked the Government to table all unclassified portions of the Future Frigate tender documentation set.
The Senate asked the Government to table the Australian Industry Capability Plan submitted by DCNS to the Department of Defence in its response to the Future Submarine Competitive Evaluation Process.
The Senate asked the Government to table information on which financial sector entities - that at some stage between 2000 and 2016 had an annual turnover of $100 million or greater - and any related entities of those financial sector entities, regardless of turnover: (i) did not lodge tax returns during that period, and (ii) did not report nil tax payable during that period.