Auto industry documents accidentally released to newspaper

The Department of Industry has suspended legal action against the Australian Financial Review, after documents regarding automotive lobbyists’ efforts to secure subsidies and the industry’s chances of survival were accidentally released to the paper.

The Department of Industry has suspended legal action against the Australian Financial Review, after documents regarding automotive lobbyists’ efforts to secure subsidies and the industry’s chances of survival were accidentally released to the paper.

After a Freedom of Information request lodged in February, 39 documents were released to the AFR, which has agreed to hold off on publishing sensitive details regarding topics such as Ford’s chances of surviving in Australia. Ford’s Falcon may have ceased to be made in Australia without subsidies (including $34 million to make the new Falcon in Australia).

Minister Greg Combet’s department requested that the assessment of Ford’s future not be published, stating that confidentiality and jobs would both be in danger if this information – released due to a clerical area – was to become circulated.