Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Last call for comments on Oz Gov Consultation Blog

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-11-28

Any of you who are interested in Australian policy, administrative procedures and politics who have a blog or comment on others need to know that comments on the Australian Government Consultation Blog Discussion Paper must be in by 2007-12-01.

Anyone who reads Oz political aggregators (such as or should at least consider submitting a comment.  Anyone who has a blog and is included in these aggregations is irresponsible or hypocritical if they don’t comment.

Because the discussion paper (downloadable PDF from the page above, or browse online) includes a number of specific questions, many Yes/No, it shouldn’t take you long to fire off an email.

Following consultation, the information gathered will be used to identify the requirements for a new Australian Government consultation website. The final shape of the consultation blog will depend on feedback received to this discussion document, the cost to implement proposed features not available in existing software and the budget and resource allocations that may be made available for the project.

So, if you don’t comment, don’t complain later if government consultation with citizens is poorly implemented and poorly used.

Responses are/will be published at, and a report is due early 2008.  I’m tidying up mine and will submit it tomorrow.

See Also:


6 Responses to “Last call for comments on Oz Gov Consultation Blog”

  1. Jacques Chester said


    My main problem is the concept of “a” government blog. There should be hundreds, thousands even. Any minister or shinybum should be able to get one at the click of a button.

    In my mind, the ideal model of blogging for government should be Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, who have extensive in-house support for blogging. This improves visibility because the people at the coalface talk about what they’re up to.

    I fear it shall never happen. In fact I would be incredibly surprised if the “consultation blog” wasn’t moderated all to hell by a brand new Office of Consultation with a manager, two deputy managers, 25 Consultation Mediation Specialists (ie mods) and a budget of $4 million plus.

  2. Dave Bath said

    Fine. Then make a comment on moderation rules. Current submissions to the senate are moderated with a light touch. There are questions in the discussion paper about delegating moderation to those who contribute regularly, by invitation. I’d imagine you’d be a useful contributor, and eventually be invited to moderate fora regarding information management issues knowing your background.

    In the discussion paper, there are quite a few questions about the acceptability of automated scanning and moderation rules. You’ve obviously got strong feelings, so a para or two to DFAT/AGIMO today on these specific questions would be great!

    In my submission (I’ll send it today) I argued that proposed automated scanning should include whitelists and blacklists, with whitelists for specific fora overriding the global blacklists.

    Also, I’ve been impressed by, and therefore have some trust in, the AGIMO guys. (The Australian Government Architecture reference models lacking a BRM in v1.0 that both you and I complained/posted about will be fixed in v1.7 due for release early next year – I got email from AGIMO yesterday about this.) This is why I expect their proposed solutions will be good – but their proposals may be trimmed down for cost reasons if no-one stresses the bits that are important.

    I haven’t seen any submissions published yet, and given the report is due next year, do you want me to email my submission?

  3. I’ve sent in a very rushed and brief comment. Some highlights:

    * if they want useful comment, they need engagement from the people concerned.
    * comment policies are important to promote civil discussion.
    * copy-and-paste press releases don’t work well for promoting discussion.

  4. Dave Bath said

    Robert: Thanks for being engaged directly with government, something I’ve been advocating for some time.

    Does the “copy and paste press release” you mention refer to the “front page” of the series of pages at AGIMO. The rest (download the lot as the PDF , and you’ll find it’s quite a comprehensive set of questions, and AGIMO is pushing for all the right stuff, but whether they get the funding to do things properly is determined by the responses to the discussion paper).

  5. Idetrorce said

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  6. […] Comments Gormless Oz political bloggers[…]

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