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March 31, 2023

Local MP mute over PM diary secrecy

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Anthony Albanese’s dairy is not open for public scrutiny. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Local federal Labor MP, Justine Elliot, has declined to comment on why her government are refusing to provide the diary of Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, as a public document. 

Diaries of public officials are often made public – in the public interest – and record who they meet with and why.

The public diaries of NSW ministers have been available at www.dpc.nsw.gov.au since 2014. The move by then Liberal Premier, Mike Baird, was in response to allegations of hidden political donations, heard at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings.

Locally, there is no requirement for councillors or the mayor to disclose who they meet with, and why.

$1,344 for the freedom of information request

Ms Elliot’s refusal to comment was in response to attempts by former federal senator, Rex Patrick, who says he was initially told it would cost $1,344 for the freedom of information request.  

He tweeted last week that the PM’s department ‘backflipped on the cost, despite paying a deposit, and are now refusing to process the request’. 

He said, ‘In the United States, the White House posts visitor log records, enabling public scrutiny of President Biden’s meetings, and those of his staff’. 

‘The Chief Minister of the ACT proactively publishes his diary on the internet, and those of his ministers. 

‘So what exactly is wrong with our PM? Why the lack of transparency? What is he hiding from you?’

As his people

The Echo asked Ms Elliot, ‘Do you support the PM’s stance on (allegedly) zero transparency on who he meets with and where? How does such secrecy engender trust with the community?’

She replied, ‘As the Member for Richmond, I can’t comment on the diary of the prime minister or any other Member of Parliament’.

‘I encourage you to direct your question to the prime minister at [email protected]’.

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  1. This just shows his incompetence as a globalist puppet. Morrison would have shown you his diary and you would not have see any wrong doing. He would have made sure you couldn’t figure out what he was up to.

    • Both major parties and their secret meetings….are they in the best interests of the Australian public?

      Albo’s recent meeting with Bill Gates on health, amongst other things, is one very weird example.

      Sure we can see the photo of Bill & Albo smiling for the cameras, but I don’t particularly see Mr Gates as an example of super health.

      What on earth could Bill Gates offer to the Australian public on health? Bill now want’s to produce fake eggs, yep check it out, maybe he’s playing chicken with the PM. Who knows? Be great if we knew.

      We might find out the hard way that love, nature and empathy is difficult to improve with tech.

      One thing we can almost guarantee, is that Bill’s bank balance will improve, not so much ours.

  2. I couldn’t care a rat’s backside what the U.S. leader wrote or didn’t write. Albo has no need to list his full-time work that includes an opposition blowing rainbows. Get off the hate trail. We are supposed to be better than that.

    • Absolutely Stefanie, well said. I know the Echo wants to see Mandy take the seat next federal election but perhaps give the Tories as hard a time as you do Labor.

      “Do you support the PM’s stance on (allegedly) zero transparency on who he meets with and where? How does such secrecy engender trust with the community?’ Rather typically a very leading/loaded question. Not a high standard of journalism there and I wouldn’t answer it either.

      • You don’t have to ask Malcolm Roberts for his diary. He turns everything into a Youtube video. If he was PM, he would live stream the whole thing, even the bits where he is a sleep.

        • Who’d want to look at his diary? It won’t come up as doesn’t he use a colon or some such to protect himself. Anyway Morrison didn’t publish his diaries as it would have been problematic over which area of responsibility he would disclose or wouldn’t disclose.

  3. Justine Elliot is simply a Labor Party puppet. She has never voted against anything that Labor has put forward. She has also voted against legislation that would benefit regional and rural Australia.

    • A puppet indeed! Justine Elliot is a Labor parliamentarian who has input to policy through the caucus which is also informed by rank and file input through state and federal conferences.

      Once agreed by caucus Labor representatives tend to vote accordingly. It’s called party politics and helps you to know that when you vote Labor you largely know what you’ll get and that their announced policies will have a chance of materialisation.

    • Maranne, that’s nothing more than a cheap shot and reeks of sour grapes, Justine Elliott is a MEMBER of the Labor Party and a Labor Govt, who has been successfully defending the seat of Richmond from the clutches of the ratbag Greens since 2004 including last election when she gained the most primary votes, well ahead of the “Green Queen” who was touted as a “certainty”; deal with it.

  4. In these type of public-interest information requests, evasion is often treated as chicanery.
    Or even covering up latent subterfuge over future intentions.
    Considering what has happened over his actions since being made PM (electricity -$275, Voice, Union law etc.), this refusal does not bode well over continued trust from the Electorate.

    • Sounds like you have got a political axe to grind there Rob L, if you bothered to check the latest opinion polls, Albo and Labor are having no trouble gaining trust from the electorate despite the many hard decisions that have had to be made after we inherited an absolute mess from Morrison’s morons.

    • What rob l doing his job and getting things done that we’re promised. Gee he prefers the previous group of handing out money to companies to pay to their shareholders and who did what! Nothing.

      • Sorry Keith, no “axe” here !
        I just believe in clarity and (Quote): ‘Keeping the b*****ds honest’.
        Concealment of policies until after an election has been won is a real no-no for me.
        Same goes for the current Albo’s diary camouflage.
        Trust is a fragile thing.
        Once broken it takes time to mend – if it ever does.

        • We are not dealing with the antics of a shameless incompetent Morrison Govt now, so far the Albanese Govt has been a huge difference and the best is still to come.

  5. Who really has the ear of our PM and Ministers?

    Apart from media reports of ‘meetings’ we have no real idea who gets the inside running with the PM or Ministers.
    Lobby groups have offices in Canberra for a reason, yes.

  6. Wow and yet another contrived media Distraction? Of all the great work Labor has done and are doing after the Morrison LNP catastrophe we get this? Attacking Albanese Labor, the only political party doing their job!
    Justine Elliot’s won 7 elections, in one of the toughest marginal electorates in the country, so everyone in our electorate, knows her record!
    You know there’s a reason the Labor party will be in office in every mainland State and Federally after the NSW March election!
    While Mr 19%, Dog Food Dutton and his band of RWNJ deplorable, flounders from one rancid hate speech to the next, attacking an obstructing anything that moves.
    The Greens are running around like headless chooks, putting out fires being lite everywhere by the LWNJ Thorpe, tearing the party to shreds?
    Brandt should boot her before she go’s even more rogue. The Greens really should be doing a better job selecting candidates, no party needs this kind of crazy?

  7. It’s somewhat puzzling as to why Justine Elliott should be held accountable for what Albo wrote or didn’t write in his diary that is his personal business anyway; the whole article by the editor of the Echo profoundly smells of a cheap political beat-up, (not surprising).

    • Um – ok…
      Keith – did you read the story? Do you know what diary we are asking about?
      This is not the PM’s personal journal about how many lattés he and his partner had on the weekend at Bondi,
      or about if he felt embarrassed about leaving his fly undone and which dignitary noticed (or didn’t).
      This article is about his APPOINTMENT diary.
      This is who he is meeting and visiting and collaborating with on taxpayers time.
      Maybe read the story…

      • Maybe some more in depth investigation would be in order. Has there ever been a tradition of Australian PMs publishing their diaries? Why now the preoccupation with Albo? Is he doing a little too well?

        The US might have its traditions but remember these include a number of successful and attempted assassinations of the president. Maybe looking to the US political system has its limitations these days. The presidents tend to travel everywhere with huge security details and bullet proof cars. We have been spared such degrees of extremism in Aus (so far) but maybe that’s because with our system of democracy the PM is just the leader elected by the party with the parliamentary majority and not the powerful, celebrity status of a US president.

        Maybe with the crazies around in this internet age it’s a good idea not to publicise the minutiae of the PM’s movements. And it would certainly be naive to think that powerful lobbying takes place only with the PM and ministers at formal meetings.

  8. Oh dear Eve, you are doing a bit of nit picking now, I seriously doubt whether any PM would want to divulge in advance who he was meeting for security reasons alone; why don’t you ask Adam Bandt to make public how many times he has had to pull that embarrassing Lidia Thorpe into line who is also being paid by the Australian taxpayer. And I still still don’t see why Justine Elliott is somehow responsible, It’s seriously starting to appear as though the Echo has a political bias problem.

  9. Some of the PM’s diary would surely include ALL appointments – to avoid clashes. A recent barbque with Daniel Andrews and Lindsay Fox at the Fox residence cause some excitement in Victoria recently. Is the PM allowed to go to a private party? Would this be considered an appointment or an APPOINTMENT?

    Dan Andrews had some fun with the issue suggesting journos who were so preoccupied with the stairs he famously fell down could go for a scoop interview with the gas bottle. He also assured the press that it wouldn’t be the only barbque he attended this summer.

  10. FURTHER INFO: The PM said publicly that he can’t answer questions because we are at war and there are operational security concerns.
    What the hell is in that diary, and since when are we at war with Russia?

    • Mr. Steinberg, whether you or anybody else likes it or not the West has been technically at war with Putin ever since he brutally and illegally invaded Ukraine, the West, especially Europe can not allow him to win under any circumstances, their futures are at stake.

      • You do know why he finally had to invade right? Like, you did look into what’s been going on over there?
        So you know how China keeps freaking out the west is surrounding it? You realise Russian is on its northern border? Do you think China will allow Nato tanks to roll up on its border? Do you think it will risk loosing its emergency supplier of raw materials and energy? Do you think the increasing number of countries that depend on Russia and China financially, and to keep their infrastructure working, will be on the side of the west? How long do you think the west can survive if China cuts them off and takes Taiwan? Please do your research.

        • Mr. Steinberg, you are making a lot of wild assumptions there, China needs the west and certainly seems to be distancing itself from that debacle in Ukraine, and countries that been caught out by the antics of Russia and China have taken much of their business elsewhere. NATO tanks would not be going into Russia let alone “rolling up to China’s border”; never mind the research, stick to what is practical in defending Ukraine.

          • The US govt has released its plan to break Russia up into 17 separate countries. Nato spent the last 8 years arming and training Ukraine to fight Russia as a US proxy. If you want to take out China, you have to take out Russia first, as Russia would be China’s unlimited supply of natural resources during a war. Without Russia, China couldn’t even feed its self when the sea lanes are cut.

      • China doesn’t want war. Russian doesn’t want war. The US wants war. Have a look at the things the US did to Japan behind the scenes in the 12 months before Perl Harbor. Japan didn’t want war with the US.

        • Mr Steinberg, you seem to spend a great deal of your time chasing conspiracy theories, and making many wild assumptions that are mostly wrong, I don’t have much tolerance or time for this nonsense.

  11. We all rightly called Morrison to account for his appalling act appointing himself to ministries without telling us or even some of the ministers. The reason is clear ministerial accountability is a critical part of the success of our Westminster system. As such it is quite appropriate for Justine to refer the matter to the PM and his office. It might be appropriate too for the PM’s diary to be public, but that’s for the PM to explain, not Justine.


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