Senate debates

Tuesday, 23 November 2021


National Cabinet: Public Interest Immunity Claims

4:39 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1264.

Leave granted.

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) has rejected public interest immunity claims made on the grounds of cabinet confidentiality with respect to documents or information related to the 'National Cabinet';

(b) will not countenance public interest immunity claims made on the grounds that provision of a document or information related to the National Cabinet ordered by the Senate, or sought by a Senate committee or a senator, would reveal cabinet deliberations;

(c) directs the chairs of committees to draw this resolution to the attention of witnesses who seek to raise claims on this unacceptable ground;

(d) requires those witnesses to:

(i) provide the documents or information, or

(ii) articulate a public interest immunity claim on a ground which may be acceptable to the Senate and to specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure; and

(e) resolves that a response to a Senate order for the production of documents that relies on this unacceptable ground is not compliance with the order nor does it constitute a satisfactory explanation for why the order has not been complied with, including for the purposes of standing order 164(3).


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