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Spotlight on right to information in Qld

The Queensland government says it is proud of the number of documents it releases in response to right to information requests amid calls for major reform.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says the situation has improved under the Palaszczuk government as more documents are released for less cost.

“We’ve got a higher percentage of documents that are being released each year, so our record stands strong compared to the LNP,” Ms D’Ath said.

“We’ve got more documents, providing more transparency at a lower cost.”

The cost per page is now 15 cents, compared to 27 cents under the former government, she said.

But government transparency is in need of significant overhaul according to Liberal National Opposition Leader David Crisafulli.

“It is not good enough that 800,000 documents remain under lock and key,” he said on Tuesday.

“It’s absolutely not good enough that one in five requests don’t get met.”

There needs to be a shift in culture where information is released rather than withheld, Mr Crisafulli said.

He also said there needs to be a change to the state’s estimates process to get back to ministers answering questions “rather than hiding behind committee chairs”.

Ms D’Ath didn’t know if the RTI application fees had changed, but that a lot of work goes into providing documents, so it’s fair costs are recouped.

“What is important is that we are releasing a substantive amount of documents every single year, and we’re very proud of that,” she said.

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