George Brandis loses bid to keep his ministerial diary private

Attorney-General loses appeal to keep his ministerial diary private.

George Brandis loses bid to keep his ministerial diary private

Attorney-General George Brandis has lost an appeal to keep his ministerial diary private, after a long-running dispute which began in 2014 with his Labor nemesis Mark Dreyfus.

Mr Brandis’ diary has been the subject of scrutiny since he made a number of major policy decisions in 2014 that took funds away from environmental defenders’ offices, as well as legal and art communities, without proper consultation.

The defunded organisations claimed they could not secure an appointment with Mr Brandis so they could discuss these cuts, which set shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus, QC, on a mission to discover why Mr Brandis didn’t spare the time to consult with the affected groups.

"I think it's very important that the Attorney-General or any minister personally meet with people who are affected by the decisions taken in his or her portfolio," said Mr Dreyfus. "That's the practice I adopted when I was attorney-general and it's a practice I expect of all Commonwealth ministers."

A long-running Freedom of Information (FOI) dispute ensued, culminating in the Full Court of the Federal Court in Sydney ruling against Senator Brandis’ claims that exposing his diary would interfere with his office’s daily duties and threaten his personal safety.

The diary must now be released, although not immediately. Mr Brandis now says that before he can disclose the contents of his diary, hundreds of hours of processing time will need to take place.

The Commonwealth has also been ordered to pay court costs, which will, in turn, cost Australian taxpayers around $50,000.

Mr Dreyfus expressed his satisfaction at the court’s decision, saying: "I hope [Senator Brandis] learnt a lesson from this. He's now cost the Australian taxpayer well in excess of $50,000.

Mr Brandis is reported to be considering another appeal against the ruling.

"I call on Senator Brandis to now say definitively that he will not be wasting further taxpayer money by going on to the High Court of Australia, which he could potentially do. Instead, he should expeditiously process this request, which was always a simple request."

A spokesperson for Mr Brandis says that the Attorney-General will now consider the court’s decision and its “implications for Government".

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Do you wonder what Mr Brandis may be hiding in his diary? Is he within his rights to appeal the ruling, even if it were to cost the Australian taxpayer even more money?

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    COMMENTS

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    4b2
    7th Sep 2016
    10:18am
    Come on George what have you got to hide? Your mob are banning on about Sam receiving gifts from the Chinese, and not explaining the reasons behind the gift. So how about you giving up your Diary? Your resistance appears to indicate you have something to hide. Joseph Stalin would be very proud of your stance, secretive governments are Iron Curtin governments. Don't tell anything, don't accept criticism, blame the whistle blower. Sounds familiar.
    libsareliars
    7th Sep 2016
    1:21pm
    Spot on 4b2 - couldn't have said it better. Also, they want to reduce the Newstart Allowance but don't mind spending our money like this - what a disgrace they are.
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    1:25pm
    Agreed. Brandis almost certainly has something very bad to hide. If not why would he be fighting so hard to avoid public scrutiny? And it ain't National Security...which the courts would allow to be stricken out once the nature of these were revealed.
    Maybe this will be the trigger for another election. Who knows. All will be revealed unless George burns the evidence, something not beyond the realms of possibility given the demeanour of this gutter dwelling government.
    mareela
    7th Sep 2016
    11:12am
    Poor George hiding behind "implications for government".
    Next we'll hear poor old George say "it's all Labor's fault".
    Trust me, the security of Australia is at stake and if it is he shouldn't be sending private messages in his diary. Oh dear! What have you got to hide George?
    Wstaton
    7th Sep 2016
    11:12am
    Never liked this guy. here is one of the reasons. Obviously has something to hide. Its about time Mr. Brandis that you realize that you work for the taxpayer that pays you. Of course it will take 100's of hours to release it. he will want to redact anything that he thinks will cuase embarrassment. Who provides an independent assessment that the redactments are valid.
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    1:32pm
    I agree. He has always reminded me of a combination of a real estate agent and a used car salesman. A real piece of work. But he does have a sharp mind to turn any argument around.
    Patriot
    7th Sep 2016
    1:54pm
    MICK
    Why be "Gentlemanly" about this one?

    I think he always has looked like (& behaves as) one of the GREEDY - Unpredictable - PSYCHOPATHs similar to those in charge of the "Good Old USofA".
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    10:40pm
    Psychopath? I like that one. I sort of put the man in the Goebbels category and the whole Party int eh dictatorship mould. If they could they would and that is the frightening part.
    Ming
    7th Sep 2016
    11:22am
    At this time when privacy is the big issue, how is it that a dairy which above all else contains information that could be of a private nature is to be laid bare to the public?
    Wstaton
    7th Sep 2016
    11:29am
    This is not a private diary. It's what called in a business a business diary.

    It's to do with the official business of the government thus subjected to FOI. An actual private diary is not. he should not be putting things of a private nature in it the business dairy if he does not want it seen. The same thing he should not be putting things of a business nature in a private diary and not putting it in a business dairy.

    Look at the problems Ms Clinton is getting into.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    11:36am
    Wstaton, exactly.
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    1:33pm
    Exactly. Public property I would have thought.

    7th Sep 2016
    2:30pm
    The diary will be filled with the usual government diar-ia.

    7th Sep 2016
    3:29pm
    I like the part where Brandis has cost taxpayers $50,000. Do we draw an inference that if Dreyfus lost that he would pay from his personal funds? I think not.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    4:25pm
    Hell would freeze over first.
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    10:38pm
    Brandis DID and Dreyfus DID NOT. How hard is that to understand?
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    9:56am
    Dreyfus pay? Now, THERE'S a joke!
    Young Simmo
    7th Sep 2016
    6:37pm
    Come on you mob give him a brake, he is just a poor humble Liberal, now if he was a Labor Polli, I could understand all you bagging. About time for somebody to ask Potatoe Head, (Shorten for the uninitiated )which brewery keeps his beer fridge stocked up.
    SGW
    7th Sep 2016
    7:24pm
    He's in a tax payer funded job his work diary should be publicly available as should all government employees work diaries

    7th Sep 2016
    7:26pm
    typical of all the rusted on laborites including lifechoises mouth piece leon bosca came out clapping their little dirty hands for a diary, which should be private and only be used and seen by the user.
    as leon clearly stated yesterday that the exposure of a traitor was only a diversion by to-days government and then to read the comments of those the like of labor stooge mick, 4b2 the communist, libsareliers, worried about getting the dole, look for work instead of living on the taxpayers teats, mareela what are you hiding?, wstation ask yourself is there anybody who likes you?, patriot, do you know what that name means, oblivious not reading your own comments, fast eddy is just fast eddy, swing as the winds blows, left right left right.
    wish some of you if not all would come and live in victoria and see the damage the victorian labor government is doing to this state, few examples, miki, a 2 BILLION and still counting public transport ticket, which they could have bought from singapore or england for less than 500 million, the pipeline, never has been used and is now rusted out, the country fire association, the melbourne fire brigade, both being sold out to the labor unions, labor's attitude to the management, if you don't like it we sack you, east link, wasted more than 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS for not building this road, promised to put railway level crossings under the road yet now they put in a sky rail, 20 metres up through your backyard which is resulting of hundreds of properties will be acquired including shops, have had rainfall exceeding the norm, oh no, labor wants to start their oversized and overpriced union desalination project at a huge cost to the victorian taxpayer, just realise how luckey you are not to live in a labor run country, we are quick to forget former governments, especial those who put AUSTRALIA down the gurgler the likes of rudd, governed on the back of a beer coaster or jullie, never had a hope in hell to become a real leader while rudd was still running this country.
    it is time to put our shoulders to the good of our country, start thinking of the future of our kids and grand kids instead of looking after our own minor problems, after all it was us who put this country in this position.
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    10:36pm
    An add from your supporter?
    You seem to have gotten a double hate injection when you signed up with the Liberal Party. Somebody needs to put you out of your agony mate as you are off the planet....again.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    11:15pm
    MICK, I think he hasn't been taking his medication, again.
    leonYLC
    8th Sep 2016
    10:57am
    Of course you have the right to your opinion, but it's a ministerial diary Heemskerk99 – not a private diary. If it were a private diary, it would be a different story. And yes, you are right in that we should be thinking about the future of our country. I only hope that whoever is 'governing' the country can actually do something to that end – as do we all!
    Watto
    7th Sep 2016
    7:27pm
    This is the arrogant waste of space that dined out at the taxpayers expense to the tune of $1200- which included an $800- bottle of wine earlier this year.
    Happily retired early
    7th Sep 2016
    8:01pm
    Brandis used by date was up years ago, why do we have to put up with these born to rule want to be there forever politicians, they should only get two terms, then give someone else a turn to serve, there should be no safe seats to keep them honest.
    MICK
    7th Sep 2016
    10:37pm
    Morrison is the Goebbels of the Liberal Party. And you wonder why I sometimes refer to this government as a dictatorship in waiting.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    7:26pm
    typical comments of rusted on labor stooges, the likes of mick who is also the voice of the unions, after all he used to be by his own words an union organiser, as for fast eddie, he only comments in these columns if he thinks he can rely on the help from those labor stooges very seldom comes up with his own original thought if ever, as for leon of lifechoises, there is not such a thing as a ministerial diary, yes there may be a ministerial list of appointments and attendance record, which is open to the public at any time, however a diary is a personally item only to be viewed by those who write them, leon, just show us in these columns your complete diary in which you record your feelings, thoughts, experiences etc. etc. to be viewed by the whole world, however what really got under my gut was for you to call it a diversion by the government when it came out that dacktaries was accepting money from foreign countries and after receiving the money and I believe the wine he then stated another opinion than that of his party, labor, and the government. If you want to be a journo, please be an independent one.
    as for the comments of libsareliars, get yourself a job and you would not have to worry about new-start,
    of course mareela has to put his 2 bob in, maybe he could tell us what he is hiding?
    Sophie
    12th Sep 2016
    11:51am
    Brandis' ministerial diary is NOT his private diary and should be open for scrutiny. He should not be allowed to even appeal the ruling.

    If anyone wishes "privacy" keep a personal diary.


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