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Australia and New Zealand Information Access Commissioners unite for citizens’ Right to Know

Joint Media Statement

21 September 2017

Australia and New Zealand’s Information Access Commissioners are meeting on 28 and 29 September 2017 in Brisbane to discuss and promote the importance of open government and the right for citizens to access government-held information and data.

In recognition of this year’s International Right to Know Day the listed independent statutory officers have released the following statement:

A citizen’s right to access government-held information and data, participate in government decision‑making, and have transparency in how decisions are made is central to any effective democracy.   

Right to Know Day is an opportunity for all Australians and New Zealanders to reflect on their access rights and the benefits of a more open, transparent and accountable government. It is also a reminder to government that greater access to government information and data can deliver better public services, strengthen economic outcomes and build public trust and confidence in the public sector.   

We invite you to join us in celebrating Right to Know Day on 28 September 2017.

Co-signed by:

Rachael Rangihaeata, Information Commissioner, Queensland

Timothy Pilgrim, Australian Information Commissioner

Peter Boshier, Chief Ombudsman, New Zealand

Brenda Monaghan, Information Commissioner, Northern Territory

Elizabeth Tydd, Information Commissioner, New South Wales

Richard Connock, Ombudsman, Tasmania

Sally Winton, Acting Public Access Deputy Commissioner, Victoria

Wayne Lines, Ombudsman, South Australia

Sven Bluemmel, Information Commissioner, Western Australia

Solomon Lecture 2017

This year, underpinned by the RTI Day theme of ‘Open and accountable government and the media’s role’, Queensland’s annual Solomon Lecture will be the centrepiece of the Right to Know campaign. The Lecture will be live-streamed on Right to Know Day on 28 September 2017.

Mr Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected journalists, will deliver this year’s lecture and draw on the 30th anniversary of the Fitzgerald Inquiry in Queensland as an opportunity to revisit some of the lessons learnt over the past three decades around open government, including the media’s role.  

Following the Lecture will be a panel discussion featuring Channel 7’s Freedom of Information Editor, Alison Sandy, Queensland University of Technology Vice Chancellor Peter Coaldrake AO and Dr David Solomon AM.  Journalist Madonna King will lead the panel discussion.

The Lecture is sold out but you can watch it live online (9am) at www.ustream.tv/channel/the-edge-external-events