Reason Leader and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Fiona Patten,
has this morning moved a motion in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council calling for a commitment to a free and open press in Victoria, in the wake of two Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on Australian media outlets in the past two days.
The motion goes on to outline that the rights of journalists is supported to investigate matters of public interest without fear or favour, and that the house continues to show its commitment to protect the rights of whistle-blowers who act to reveal matters of public importance in an effort to maintain transparency and accountability in our public institutions.
“In recent days, Australians have been rightly shocked at Federal Police raids on a Canberra journalist’s home and of the ABC,” Ms Patten said.
“A free and open press is fundamental to our democratic process. The rights of journalists to investigate matters of public interest and of whistle-blowers to reveal information that holds our government institutions and the powerful to account must be protected at all costs.”
Ms Patten said the raids had also brought up concerns for citizens around trust and transparency of the Federal Government and its role in this process.
“We keep giving up little bits of privacy and freedom for the sake of security,” Ms Patten said.
“These were both stories that had been widely reported some time ago – what was the AFP’s justification to raid the media?
“The words of Benjamin Franklin are quite fitting today: ‘Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety’.”
Here is a link to Ms Patten’s speech on her motion on the AFP media raids, from this morning.
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Media Contact: Kaitlin Bartlett
Phone: 0432 294 500