On Friday The Australian Financial Review was given 39 documents under a Freedom of Information request. The documents related to dealings between the government and automotive industry lobbyists.
Combet said that the redaction of the information wasn’t something that he’d personally ordered, but he agreed with it.
“There are very sensitive commercial issues in those documents, very sensitive, that would have a very negative effect,” he said.
“The confidence in [companies] sharing their commercial information with government would be severely prejudiced and, not only that, it would have investment and employment consequences.”
Combet denied the decision to go to court went against the government’s professed commitment to a pro-disclosure culture, and that other news outlets had handed back unredacted documents when this had been requested.