Australia’s Right to Know is a coalition of Australia’s leading media organisations and industry groups, formed more than a decade ago to protect the Australian public’s right to know. Find out more >
Australia, you're being kept in the dark
You have a right to know what the governments you elect are doing in your name. But in Australia today, the media is prevented from informing you, people who speak out are penalised and journalism that shines a light on matters you deserve to know about is criminalised. This needs to change. 87 per cent of Australians value a free and transparent democracy where the public is kept informed. Sadly, only 37 per cent believe this is happening in Australia today^. Australians have been slowly losing their right to know how their government operates and about issues that affect their families and finances. For the last 20 years, the federal government has been issuing tighter and tighter laws on what information is shared with the public.
Australians have a right to know:
- which aged care facilities have a history of neglect and abuse when considering where their loved ones are cared for
- that Australian land is sold to foreign owners and the terms of those deals are kept secret
- that the government has plans to undertake secret surveillance of Australian citizens
- that the Australian Tax Office can take money from your account without you knowing
Here’s the evidence
You deserve the truth about decisions, mistakes and wrongdoing that happen behind closed doors. Australians expect that we live in a country where powerful people are held accountable for their actions, and that those who speak out are not punished. The media plays a vital role in telling the public what’s really going on. But journalists and whistleblowers in Australia live in fear of criminal charges, police raids and damaging court battles that threaten their professional careers and personal freedom.
Here are some examples of what governments are hiding from you
Who we are and the change we’re seeking
We’re a coalition of Australia’s leading media organisations and industry groups, formed more than a decade ago to protect the Australian public’s right to know. With two government committees looking into press freedom and issuing recommendations over the coming months about the laws which decide what you get to know and what your government can keep from you. We’re calling for changes to make sure Australia’s laws protect your right to know.
What you can do about it
This is about the basic right of every Australian to be properly informed about the important decisions the government is making in their name. So we are calling on Australians to voice their concerns.
How we got here
According to independent research, Australian governments have passed around 75 laws related to secrecy and spying over the last two decades. Piece by piece, those laws have chipped away at the public’s right to know the truth.