The MEAA today reports that The Australian‘s Freedom of
Information battle will go to the High Court later this year. This morning the court’s
judges granted the newspaper a right to appeal the Treasury Department’s
decision not to grant FOI editor Michael McKinnon secret tax data, with
the court saying the case went to the heart of government
accountability. Indeed it does.

Last August, The Aus lost out in a 2-1 Federal Court ruling and were refused access to the potentially embarrassing
tax figures they were seeking. The case is seen as a litmus test for
press freedom.

The case goes to Court in August and, with the government looking to
pass their cross-media-reforms in the next few months, we look forward
to an on-going “freedom of the press” battle throughout 2006.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey