It is interesting to note the parallels with the speech of former Western Australian Minister for Justice, the Hon David Smith OAM, when he introduced the WA FOI Bill in 1991:
Freedom of Information legislation represents a fundamental reform of the relationship between the State and local governments and the communities they serve. It enshrines in legislation rights which are at the very heart of democratic processes.
Divisions 1 and 2 of Part 4 of the FOI Act came into effect 11 June 1993 - establishment of the Information Commissioner and functions of the Information Commissioner. The remaining parts of the FOI Act took effect on 1 November 1993.
The first Information Commissioner, Bronwyn Keighley-Gerardy, was appointed on 1 July 1993. The Commissioner wrote in the OIC's 1993/94 Annual Report, "my primary task has been the establishment of the office of the Information Commissioner and its infrastructure to ensure that the right of access can be exercised by the public in a meaningful way".
This report noted that the OIC provided its own information statement - not required under the legislation, but done "to demonstrate my commitment to the principles of openess, accountability and responsibility".
At the time of proclamation, WA was the only jurisdiction with "dual responsibilities of dealing with complaints about decisions made by agencies concerning FOI applications and in undertaking a public education role to ensure that both agencies and the public are aware of their respective responsibilities and rights under the Act".