FoI in Australia: new FoI laws will deter journalists

The Queensland Opposition says aspects of the state's new Right to Information laws will discourage journalists from making applications.

Laws replacing the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) were passed last night.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek unsuccessfully tried to amend a clause that allows documents to be published online within 24 hours of their release.

Mr Langbroek told Parliament that media organisations will be reluctant to make applications if they do not have exclusive access to the results.

"We believe this is a way of deterring journalists from making access applications under the Right to Information laws," he said.

But Premier Anna Bligh disagrees.

"This information is public information - it doesn't belong to the people who paid for the FOI application," she said.

Ms Bligh says it was a recommendation of the Solomon review of the old FOI laws.

Qld's new FOI laws will 'deter journalists' (ABC News, 3 June 2009)