NSW needs more citizen participation

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Government agencies need to do more to ensure citizens’ rights to participation in public policy, NSW information commissioner Elizabeth Tydd tells The Mandarin. An independently oversighted charter of public participation would bring NSW into line with other states.

New South Wales is lagging behind other states in ensuring citizens’ rights to participate in government decision making, argues NSW information commissioner Elizabeth Tydd.

Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd

Elizabeth Tydd

Although there is plenty of good will in the state service, implementation of the right to active engagement and participation in government decision making and service delivery “has arguably remained somewhat dormant” since the introduction of the Government Information (Public Access) Act enshrining that right in 2009.

Speaking to The Mandarin for Right To Know Week, which runs from September 28 to October 4, Tydd explained that upholding that right — as well as the two others in the legislation, namely citizens’ right to obtain information from government, proactively or reactively and the right to hold government to account and expect transparency — was “really meaningful and important work” for the Information and Privacy Commission.

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