Premier Campbell Newman.
Premier Campbell Newman. Valerie Horton

Newman has 'nothing to hide' as he posts diaries online

SPORT and racing Minister Steve Dickson went to a Brisbane International tennis grand final and spent the Magic Millions race day in the Moet and Chandon marquee during January.

He also attended Australia Day awards and looked at a flood-damaged sports complex.

Such details are now available online as Premier Campbell Newman and his Cabinet ministers release their diaries for all to see.

Tourism Minister Jan Stuckey also went to the Magic Millions racing, watched turtle hatching at Mon Repos turtle rookery and the Bleach Festival launch.

Energy and Water Minister Mark McArdle did not have time for glamorous events, instead busy with meetings about flood and drought proofing SEQ, Cyclone Oswald briefings and other matters related to his portfolio.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps has been flitting around the state looking at mines sites but also squeezed in a little glamour with the Brisbane premiere of South Pacific.

Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell attended the same premiere but he was much busier for the rest of January - touring facilities at Redlands, Rockhampton, Yarwun, Burpengary, Gladstone ports and a bus tour of the Sunshine Coast with a list of people too numerous to list here.

Much of Premier Campbell Newman's January diary was taken up dealing with flood-affected Queensland.

Several diary entries, tabled in Queensland Parliament, note the lists do not include "personal, electorate or party political meetings or events, media events and interviews and information contrary to public interest".

The latter, it stipulates, refers to meetings about sensitive law enforcement, public safety or whistle-blower matters.

Premier Campbell Newman told Queensland Parliament on Thursday that his government had "nothing to hide".

"I am not aware of an Australian Prime Minister or, indeed, Premier ever having made their diary and those of their ministers publicly available in this way," he said.

"Of course, it has been done overseas such as in the UK where David Cameron releases his diary.

"Prime Minister Cameron says he wants to bring the operation of government out into the open.

"We share those same values and have reflected the UK model in the how, why and when we go about releasing this information."

James Paterson, from the Australian Institute of Public Affairs, said citizens had the right to know how elected representatives spent their time.

"Governments will deliver better services to their citizens if they know everything they do will be scrutinised by the public," he said.

"Every government in Australia should follow Queensland's lead and make more information available to the public."

The diary release comes after housing minister Bruce Flegg resigned last year amid allegations he failed to record contact with his lobbyist son and former arts minister Ros Bates copped much flak over tabling an incomplete lobbyist document.