851. Hon ALISON XAMON to the Leader of the House representing the Premier:
I refer to the WA Inc royal commission recommendation that a list of cabinet decisions be officially published and that none of those decisions be exempt from publication due to secrecy provisions.
(1) Does the WA Labor government intend to progress this recommendation?
(2) If yes to (1), what action has the government taken or will the government take?
(3) If no to (1), why not?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1)–(3) Under a longstanding convention, it is understood that cabinet documents are considered confidential to the government that created them. This confidentiality is an essential part of the Westminster system of government and ensures collective ministerial responsibility. It makes it extraordinarily difficult for cabinet ministers to speak without fear or favour if they know that what they say will be revealed publicly. The convention of cabinet confidentiality has been accepted by all previous governments, noting that cabinet decisions have no legal standing until they are put into effect either by a decision of the Executive Council or by the responsible minister through their departments.