The journalism union’s meeting with Treasury about keeping the ASIC registry as is was “pretty constructive”, the journalist behind the campaign wrote in an email to cosignatories of a petition opposing changes this morning.

As Crikey reported, the journalists’ union was in Canberra yesterday to meet with Treasury officials about a push by the Governance Institute to replace company directors’ personal information like dates of birth and home addresses with a unique identifying number, in the interests of privacy and security. Journalists argue the information is a vital tool in business journalism — they need that information to cross-reference directors across databases.

“This is not a government proposal — it’s been entirely driven by the Governance Institute, who according to documents obtained under FOI have been lobbying Treasury since January (there have been three or four contacts, it seems — a bit difficult to tell precisely),” Oz business journo Ben Butler wrote.

Crikey understands the bitterly fought suggestion is, currently at least, a relatively low priority for Treasury, which currently has its hands full with things like the Murray Inquiry. It doesn’t help the Governance Instutite that no member of the government is currently championing the change. 

Peter Fray

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