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Australian Government Keeps Casino Documents Secret

4 September 2003

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australia (Age): "The Bracks Government has extended a ban on public access to documents relating to the Crown Casino tendering process for up to 20 years.

"Communities Minister John Thwaites yesterday ordered that documents, including research files linked to the casino licence, be kept secret until January 2023.

"…His order states that documents regarding submissions for the casino licence and temporary building plans be kept from public scrutiny for 10 years.

"In April 2001, the Government banned public access to those documents for two years.

"At that time, Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said he was confident of reaching an agreement with the failed casino bidders to allow tendering documents to be released within two years.

"A Government spokesman said yesterday that the Government was yet to get authority from the failed bidders to release certain tendering documents.

"…InterChurch Gambling Taskforce spokesman Tim Costello yesterday attacked the Government for keeping the documents secret for so long.

"…Another anti-gaming campaigner, the Salvation Army's John Dalziel, said the Government had made a mistake by continuing the secrecy surrounding the casino documents…"

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