The Queensland Premier has been accused of ‘political trickery’ after including secrecy laws for Olympic contracts.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has been accused of “political trickery” after the Queensland government introduced secrecy laws to ensure documents relating to the Olympic Games were kept private.
The Premier introduced the Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics Arrangements Bill to parliament to begin planning for the 2032 Games, which outlined how the workings of the committee will be protected from right to information access.
It included an amendment to the RTI 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 committee will be responsible for managing billions of dollars to oversee thousands of athletes, accommodation, and various events including the opening and closing ceremonies.
Related documents which “comprises information of a confidential nature that was communicated in confidence” will be kept private, according to the bill’s explanatory notes outlines.
“This clause is justified given the sensitive nature of some of the documents that will be developed in connection with the performance of the Corporation’s functions, such as commercial-in-confidence information in relation to the Corporation’s local marketing program.”
It also notes similar provisions were included for the planning committee in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Games.
But the move was blasted by the opposition spokesperson for integrity, Fiona Simpson, who said the amendment was “political trickery at its worst”.
“I am deeply concerned the Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games Arrangements Bill introduced to parliament does not allow for transparency,” she said.
“The legislation states that all documents relating to the Games are not subject to the right to information act.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan avoided questions relating to costing documents but insisted the privacy of the planning was crucial to keep athletes and attendees safe.
“There’s a very big involvement in security and safety when it comes to running the biggest event on the planet,” he told reporters on Thursday morning.
“And as we’ve done during the G20, the Commonwealth Games and around the world for every other Olympics, there are certain things from a security and safety perspective, which is obviously my perspective as the Police Minister, which has to be kept confidential.”