Information too hot to release!

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Paul Swain

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Apr 16, 2022, 3:23:51 AMApr 16
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Hi Everyone!

A while back I let you know that Foreign Minister Marise Payne had welcomed UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to Australia.  So building on a good idea from our friends at BPiA, I thought that I should make a Freedom of Information request to see if frozen pensions had been raised in Marise and Liz's discussions.

I thought that this was worth trying this since many of us have got a response from one politician or another along the lines of:

we "will continue to press the issue with our UK counterparts on behalf of UK pensioners in Australia"

and so it was worth checking with DFAT whether this was true or not.

A few days ago I received a reply from DFAT which you can read at https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/8339/response/25047/attach/4/Decision%20Letter%20LEX5086.pdf 

DFAT have identified one document that shows that the Australian Government attempted to resolve the frozen UK State Pension issue with the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her staff during her recent visit, but aren't going to release it because "disclosure would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to the international relations of the Commonwealth."

So you have to wonder what is in that document!


So what have we learned?

Well, to begin with, it seems that Marise Payne did raise the frozen pensions issue with Liz Truss.  So I guess that is good.  However, since these efforts don't seem to have been successful, it hasn't really helped us.

We've also learned that DFAT aren't attempting to learn from their failure on this occasion.  I think that that is very much a missed opportunity. 

If you are discussing frozen pensions with any political candidates, you might want to ask them why DFAT isn't attempting to learn from its past failures, and so be more likely to succeed in getting our pensions unfrozen the next time they discuss this with the UK government.


After consulting with a few people at BPiA, I'm going to request that DFAT conduct an internal review of their decision to refuse to release the document that they do have.  If anyone here has any experience with situations like this, and suggestions on the argument I should use, please let me know.

Many thanks to our friends at BPiA who paid the $97 that DFAT charged for handling my request.

I have made a similar request to the Prime Minister following his recent virtual meeting with the UK Prime Minister, but so far, despite being the Prime Minister who "deal[s] with the hard questions" and thinks that it is unacceptable for politicians to duck questions, he is dragging his feet and hasn't responded.  You can see that request at https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/resolution_of_frozen_uk_state_pe_2  If you're talking to any political candidates, you might want to ask them about that too.

You can also read my request to DFAT at https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/resolution_of_frozen_uk_state_pe


Paul



JO ODDIE

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Apr 16, 2022, 4:21:46 AMApr 16
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Very well done Paul. 

Happy Easter

Jo


Sent from my iPhone

On 16 Apr 2022, at 17:23, Paul Swain <ata...@zaparaxy.net> wrote:


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Sheila Whyte

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Apr 16, 2022, 5:51:59 AMApr 16
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Good efforts for our cause.thank you.
Sheila whyte

Malcolm Cowan

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Apr 16, 2022, 5:52:22 AMApr 16
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I have asked my Labor candidate in Bass what they would be doing and he replied that " Labor has previously committed to work with UK govt to address this" He is checking to see that this commitment still stands. Malcolm Cowan

On Sat, 16 Apr 2022, 6:21 pm 'JO ODDIE' via BAPA, <bapa...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

Jonathan Green

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Apr 16, 2022, 5:52:35 AMApr 16
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Well done for trying, wishing you a happy Easter... well, what's left of it!

From: 'JO ODDIE' via BAPA <bapa...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: 16 April 2022 17:51
To: bapa...@googlegroups.com <bapa...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [bapanews] Information too hot to release!
 

Tony OMahony

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Apr 17, 2022, 2:30:54 AMApr 17
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That was a great effort, Paul, and the tenor of your follow-up questions was right on the point.

This is the sort of continuing pressure that needs to be exerted to alert the government or any subsequent one that there is a large body of the general public which objects to this blatant injustice of what is taking place.

If it became widely known that we pay increases to our overseas pensioners, inlc UK, yet do not get reciprocal pension increases the would be an uproar.

Keep on.

Regards
Tony

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