ABC hypocrisy on FOI
The ABC got all hot under the collar at Federal Government moves to (quite legally) block a Freedom of Information application by News Ltd to access information about taxation bracket creep, and the first homeowners grant.News Ltd reporter Michael McKinnon took his quest all the way to the High Court, and lost.
Kerry O’Brien on The 7.30 Report declared that “some now say the spirit of FOI has been broken completely.”
He made that comment despite the fact that nothing had really changed, because the previous Hawke/Keating government had also used what are called ‘conclusive orders’ on a number of occasions to block FOI applications.
Out of power and safely ensconced on the opposition benches, the Federal ALP had a change of heart and decided on a change of policy.
As the treasurer Peter Costello pointed out, Labor state governments have miraculously failed to undergo the road to Damascus conversion of their federal colleagues.
But the most breathtaking hypocrisy comes from the ABC itself.
Reporter Michael Brissenden waxed lyrical: “This has become a most important make or break case for those who believe the spirit of the FOI Act introduced in 1982 has been breached and its content abused.”
But check this out from The Australian of November 16, 2005:
“The ABC has launched a Federal Court appeal against a court ruling that it make available to university researchers thousands of complaints relating to its news coverage of the Middle East.”
The ABC lost and must now make the information available. We can’t wait for the results.
But isn’t it interesting that we didn’t hear about this on the ABC.
It seems to be a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’
Or as Alfred Adler put it “It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”