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This project aims to source, using Freedom of Information laws, the so-called 'Blue book' of incoming ministerial briefings that was last month provided to new Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

After three years leading the communications portfolio for the Opposition, after the Federal Election in September, Member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull was formally sworn in as Communications Minister.

The post of Communications Minister will be a critical one for the Australian Government over the next several years, as the Coalition has promised to radically reshape Labor's National Broadband Network, despite the fact that Labor's NBN policy has always enjoyed overwhelming popular support amongst the general population.

In addition, there are a number of other key issues in the Communications portfolio which Turnbull will need to deal with, ranging from Internet censorship and filtering, digital rights, media law and so on.

Because of the pivotal nature of the role, on 25 September Delimiter sought access to the 'Blue book' of briefing documents which was provided by the Department of Communications to Turnbull when he was sworn in as Minister. This document, which is 545 pages long (according to the department), consists of everything which the department believes Turnbull will need to know.

Many Freedom of Information requests are returned without fees. However, in this case, because of the complexity and length of the request, the Department of Communications has judged that some 97.55 hours of "decision-making" time, plus some 8 hours of "search and retrieval time" will be needed to judge what portions of the 545 page document can be released publicly.

Some Of My Previous Work

I am the publisher and editor of Delimiter (http://delimiter.com.au), an independent media outlet focusing solely on technology in the Australian context. I have also worked as a technology journalist for technology news site ZDNet and the Australian Financial Review. I am one of Australia's most well-known technology journalists and have a particular expertise in reporting on issues touching the National Broadband Network project.

The Challenges

The Department of Communications has warned that a preliminary review of the documents identified as part of our Freedom of Information search indicates that, "given the nature of the documents", a significant proportion of the documents would be exempt from Freedom of Information laws.

However, the release of incoming ministerial briefs under FoI laws is far from unprecedented. After the 2010 Federal Election, for example, the Treasury released a significant proportion of the 'Red book' incoming government brief provided to the incoming Labor Government.
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on 4th Oct 2013 at 4:43am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$5 +Our grateful thoughts and appreciation for supporting this important public interest campaign.
6 Chosen | 94 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2014
A$15 +We'll email you a copy of the 'Blue book' documents as soon as we get them.
91 Chosen | 9 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2014
A$30 +Your name will be published on Delimiter thanking you as being a key supporter who helped make this Freedom of Information request possible. This article of appreciation will be publicised throughout our extensive social networks and will be prominently displayed on Delimiter. Plus, we'll email you the documents as soon as we receive them.
32 Chosen | 18 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2014