Freedom from Information Merry-Go-Round Continues

2 Jun 2009 3:15 PMJann Stuckey

2 June 2009

Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey has applied for an independent External Review to be undertaken in her attempts to obtain copies of the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project (TRESBP) contracts between Queensland and New South Wales.

Neither a standard Freedom of Information (FOI) request or an internal review conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency were successful in the release of these documents.

“I really hoped that the internal review would lead to a positive outcome, but it now seems we have purchased a ticket on this Government’s freedom of information merry-go-round,” said Ms Stuckey.

“It would appear that the last avenue to request this information is to apply for an External Review by the Information Commissioner so that is what I have done on behalf of stakeholders.

“There is no set timeline involved with this external review which means we will just have to wait for the findings of this course of action to be handed down.

“That could happen in a matter of weeks week or it could be twelve months but the people of Currumbin are prepared to play the waiting game on the issue of Kirra if they get results.  After all they’ve waited over 5 years already.

“The Bligh government continue to withhold the facts on this issue by refusing to release this information.  Residents and our surfing community have a right to this vital data to ascertain if contracts have been breached.

“An election promise from the Bligh government pledged $1.5 million to be spent on beach excavation at Kirra and a consultant from the Gold Coast City Council has been appointed to this project.

“Removing the sand is a short term strategy. An audit of the sand pumping regime is required and the TRESBP contract holds essential information.

“With numerous Gold Coast beaches looking their worst in many years, while Kirra remains virtually unscathed, the need for flexibility in beach nourishment programs is obvious.

“As long the contents of the TRESBP contract are kept secret nothing long-term can be considered.

Ends

Contact Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919