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Brisbane 2022 Games: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shrugs off secrecy concerns in Olympics bill

Annastacia Palaszczuk has shrugged off transparency concerns following widespread criticism of secrecy laws attached to the planning of the 2023 Olympic Games.

Legislation to create a Brisbane Organising Committee is expected to pass parliament this week to kick off preparations for the landmark event, with the bill outlining its workings will be protected from right to information access.

The bill includes an amendment to the Right to Information Act — which provides access to information of public importance — meaning documents and emails between to the Australian Olympic Committee or the International Olympic Committee will be kept in the dark.

The move perplexed many including Information Commissioner Rachael Rangihaeata, who said it was “inconsistent” with detailed examinations and recommendations for the RTI Act, as well as Greens MP Amy MacMahon, who said the bill was a “corruption magnet”.


The Member for South Brisbane moved a number of amendments to the bill on Wednesday afternoon, including the assurance RTI laws apply to documents of the committee.

Camera IconParliament is expected to pass the planning bill for the Games this week. NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

“Without these amendments, we are left with a bill that fosters corruption, denies public access to information, guarantees a massive cost blowout and stacks the Olympic Committee against community interests,” she said.

In progressing the bill on Tuesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament the secrecy laws would only relate to documents “received or created by the corporation that comprise information communicated in confidence by or for the AOC or the IOC such as private information”.

“The provision was requested to be included by the IOC and AOC as it provides these entities, and particularly the IOC, certainty that the corporation can protect the confidentiality of certain sensitive commercial, financial and operational information under its control like international sponsorships,” she said.


“The provision is consistent with the existing treatment of commercial-in-confidence information under the Right to Information Act.

“It is the Queensland government’s expectation that other information held by the corporation is proactively released where it is in the public interest to do so and in accordance with Olympic host contract.”

Camera IconThe Greens MP said the bill was a “corruption magnet”. NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

Ms MacMahon also moved an amendment “removing the exemption from anti-corruption laws for federal MPs” following concerns raised by the corruption watchdog.

Last month, Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) boss Alan MacSporran flagged “corruption risks” through elected officials enlisted on the Games planning board not being required to disclose conflict of interests.


He said the decision process was vulnerable to corruption given the power to approve and intervene on major infrastructure decisions.

“The CCC does not consider that such a carve out for this issue is necessary or desirable,” he said in a submission to the bill.

“If a conflict arises between an elected office bearer’s duties and their role as a director on the corporation, it should be declared and managed.

“A perceived or actual conflict may not, of itself, necessitate the director declining to participate in discussion and voting on the issue, but this does not mean the conflict should not be declared and considered.”

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