Today, we take our fight against the ban on Crikey journalists
attending this year’s Budget lock-up to Canberra. This morning we
lodged a formal complaint with the Commonwealth Ombudsman – it’s on the
Crikey website here. We have asked the Ombudsman to investigate:

a) Whether the process for allocating places in the Budget lock-up is fair and transparent.

b) Whether there are grounds for the decision to be reversed.

c)
Whether the decision to refuse Crikey entry to the Budget lock-up
constitutes unfair discrimination against the internet medium.

d) Whether the decision to refuse Crikey entry to the Budget lock-up constitutes an assault on free speech.

e)
Whether the Treasury, as a government department, should be accountable
to the same standards required by commercial entities under the Trade
Practices Act, and if so, whether Treasury’s decision to refuse Crikey
entry to the Budget lock-up constitutes an abuse of Treasury’s market
power.

Meanwhile, this item appeared in the Strewth column in today’s Australian:

Number’s up for Crikey

If the ratbags at Crikey.com media website thought new owners Eric Beecher

and Di Gribble

would give them respectability they can forget it. Roving reporter Stephen Mayne

and co have been denied access to this year’s budget lock-up. Peter Costello

‘s minder David Alexander

says Crikey “isn’t mainstream media and doesn’t require the same access
for analysis and graphic presentation other outlets do. There is also
sensitive information that Treasury doesn’t want let out.” Considering
this sensitive information gets plastered on the evening news that
night, what’s he hiding, or is he just scared?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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