News | 8th Dec, 2009

Watchdog wary of ‘secret files’ on desal protesters

Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Paul Austin, The Age

Victoria's Privacy Commissioner is seeking an urgent briefing from the State Government on the deal it has struck that will allow police to hand over sensitive files on protesters to the private consortium building the $3.5 billion desalination project on the Bass Coast.

Privacy Commissioner Helen Versey had not been aware of the deal, revealed in The Age on Saturday, under which Victoria Police agreed to pass on photos, videos and other law enforcement data to the international consortium AquaSure to help it tackle security threats and deliver the project on time.

The Government has confirmed a similar deal was done for construction of the north-south pipeline that will take water from the Goulburn Valley to Melbourne, and that such agreements are official policy for major state projects.

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