The Government’s ties to Chinese businesses over the past 10 years.

The request was refused by Australia-China Council.

Dear Australia-China Council,
I am requesting to see information based on the Australian Government’s ties to Chinese businesses over the last decade. This can include dealings such as; conferences, meetings and policy plans. It is preferable that these records are considered private
exchanges in order to ensure full transparency.

Yours faithfully,
The Top 1% Podcast

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia-China Council

Thank you for your interest in the Australia-China Council.

The Government has announced that it is establishing a new and innovative
National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. The new Foundation will
replace the Australia-China Council which, for more than forty years, has
done an outstanding job at the forefront of our nation’s expanding ties to
China. The Foundation is expected to commence in late 2019. For further
details, please refer to the Foreign Minister’s [1]media release dated 29
March 2019.

 

The 2018-19 Australia-China Council grants round was the final grants
round for the Council. There will not be a 2019-20 grants round. Existing
Australia-China Council grant agreements will not be affected. Grants will
continue to be acquitted through the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade Smartygrants system as per your original grant agreement.

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored.

References

Visible links
1. https://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/...

Dear Australia-China Council,

The response to my request has been delayed. By law, you should have responded promptly, clearly and accurately.

Yours faithfully,

Jeffery

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia-China Council

Thank you for your interest in the Australia-China Council.

The Government has announced that it is establishing a new and innovative
National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. The new Foundation will
replace the Australia-China Council which, for more than forty years, has
done an outstanding job at the forefront of our nation’s expanding ties to
China. The Foundation is expected to commence in late 2019. For further
details, please refer to the Foreign Minister’s [1]media release dated 29
March 2019.

 

The 2018-19 Australia-China Council grants round was the final grants
round for the Council. There will not be a 2019-20 grants round. Existing
Australia-China Council grant agreements will not be affected. Grants will
continue to be acquitted through the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade Smartygrants system as per your original grant agreement.

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored.

References

Visible links
1. https://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/...

FOI, Australia-China Council

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Jeffery

 

Thank you for your email of 29 October 2019 to the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade’s (the department) Australia-China Council inbox. Your
email and Freedom of Information (FOI) request has been referred to the
department’s FOI team for response.

 

We understand you have sought access under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) for: 

 

“…information based on the Australian Government’s ties to Chinese
businesses over the last decade. This can include dealings such as;
conferences, meetings and policy plans. It is preferable that these
records are considered private exchanges in order to ensure full
transparency.”

 

The FOI Act provides the public with a legal right to seek access to
documents in the Australian Government’s possession, subject to
exemptions.

 

As it currently reads, the department does not consider your request to be
a valid FOI request. Section 15(2)(b) of the FOI Act requires an FOI
request to provide information that is reasonably necessary to enable the
department to identify the document(s) you are seeking.

 

In order for the department to process your FOI request, please clarify
the following:  

 

(a)    we understand you seek “…information based on the Australian
Government’s ties to Chinese businesses over the last decade…”, please
confirm the type of material you are seeking when referring to “the
Australian Government’s ties to Chinese businesses”, for example, are you
referring to meetings, conferences and events organised by the
Australia-China Council; and

 

(b)    it would also be useful if you could please confirm the category of
documents you are seeking (for example, emails and briefings about
particular meetings and conferences held in the last decade i.e. 2010 to
2020).  

 

Clarification of the above would assist the department to undertake
meaningful searches in processing your FOI request.  

 

Please note that as your request is currently not regarded as a valid FOI
request, the department will not be undertaking any further action. 

 

Should you wish to clarify the scope of your request, the department will
further consider your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

DFAT FOI Team 

___________________________________
FOI and Privacy Law Section
Corporate Law Branch

Legal Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[1]www.dfat.gov.au

 

 

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