OpenAustralia.org is a website that enables people to keep track of what politicians are doing and saying on our behalf in Parliament. We believe that politicians work for us and that to ensure that we have a healthy democracy we, the public, need to be able to access and search the official Parliamentary records (Hansard) freely and easily.
OpenAustralia.org breathes life into the dry text of Hansard, we have made it easily searchable, browseable and accessible as never before.
We were also the first organisation (and so far the only) website to publish the Federal Register of Interests online. We provide public access to these records which list politicians’ bank accounts, gifts they are given, their share holdings etc. anything, in fact, that which has the potential to prejudice their decisions in Parliament.
We’re proud that we’ve affected the functioning of Parliament for good. As a direct result of our actions Parliament will now be publishing the Register of Interests on its own website. This is fantastic news.
We’re confident that this would not have happened so quickly had we not done what we did.
What people have said about OpenAustralia.org
So much of information about politicians can only be found on OpenAustralia. It is an essential part of our now unstable democracy.—
Whenever I need to steal great research and claim it as my own I use OpenAustralia. The starting place for anyone wanting to hold our politicians accountable.—
The only place we could find easy access to our politician’s Registers of Interest was on OpenAustralia. It’s almost as if the politicians wanted to make it hard for us to find it.—
I’m aware of OpenAustralia and the very good work that has been done in bringing TheyWorkForYou.com to an Australian context. Some of my staff now use OpenAustralia regularly as an alternative to Hansard!—
OpenAustralia is an impressive effort to make Australian politics more accessible for the vast majority of people who are not experts in the system. As well as increasing transparency, this approach can increase citizen engagement and help politicians themselves to communicate better, as we have seen in other countries with similar projects. At the heart of this are the efforts of well-motivated volunteers, who deserve and need the support of a wider community if they are to sustain and grow the project. I have been happy to support OpenAustralia where I can and hope others will feel that they too can help make a difference.—