From the West Australian, Friday, 29 June 2018

Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple has accused the State Government of going to “unprecedented lengths” to hide details of two major industrial projects proposed for the rock art-rich Burrup Peninsula after a Freedom of Information request he lodged received nine almost entirely blank pages in response.

Mr Chapple’s FOI application to the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Information for “records of any discussion” between the Government and proponents of a proposed $4.3 billion urea project and $1.3 billion methanol and monoethylene petrochemical plant for the Burrup was last week answered with nine pages of meeting minutes in which all information was blanked out, bar two meeting dates and a list of attending government agencies.

The Greens senator said he had never seen such extensive redactions in years of making FOI requests and had not been given a reason by the department.

“I have seen large redactions in FOI responses before but this is next-level,” he said.

“This was a routine FOI request, yet the Government is going to unprecedented lengths to keep the details of industrialisation in the north a secret.

“This experience does make me wonder if the department has something to hide.”

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