Pirate Party Australia are furious at the Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, who has recently announced plans for legislation that would make the spending of public money by parliamentarians totally exempt from Freedom of Information applications.
In a move that would further remove politicians and government departments from any form of accountability, is considering a bill that would deny access to the expenditure of MPs.
This comes after the disclosure of Speaker Peter Slipper’s expenditure under the Freedom of Information Act. The Attorney-General announced that the Government considered the disclosure of Slipper’s expenses to be an “anomaly”.
“It is typical of our representatives to propose undemocratic legislation that hides their own incompetence and regular abuse of public money,” said Brendan Molloy, Party Secretary. “A Government who would limit the availability of information to the Information Commissioner is a Government with something to hide, and we won’t stand for it.”
“The Attorney-General’s Department is using the same argument that we have seen with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement before it – that transparency is unnecessary because things have always been done in secret. This is not good enough. As a democracy, we should be told what is done in our name, and how our money is being spent. Our elected representatives owe it to us to be honest.”
Pirate Party Australia will continue to campaign for greater transparency within Australian politics. The Party feels that more should be done to move politics into the open, now that the technology exists to give all citizens access to information.
“We now have the tools to make our democracy more transparent and to increase political participation. These tools are being ignored, as our current representatives cling to old methods of governance. It’s disappointing to have it confirmed that our elected representatives are not acting in our best interests, and are putting in place measures to make sure they never have to,” continued Mr Molloy.