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WA Nats leader keeping quiet on Palmer

WEST Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls may refuse an order by the state’s Freedom of Information Commissioner to reveal correspondence between his office and Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer.

Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel ruled late on Tuesday that 16 withheld documents should be released to “preserve public confidence in government by allowing the public to judge for itself whether proper and impartial processes are followed at the highest levels of government,” reports The Australian Financial Review .

Mr Grylls said yesterday he was considering whether to appeal against the decision within his allotted 21 days because the state’s solicitor had advised that some of the documents would reveal unrelated, commercially sensitive information about Mr Palmer’s company Mineralogy.

“The moment I say ‘commercial in confidence’ I am suddenly holding secret documents but, until I release them all, I can’t prove that is what it is. It defeats the purpose of the FOI act, which says third parties have the right for information to be exempt.”

State Labor opposition MP Mark McGowan has for months pursued Mr Grylls and the government over its relationship with Mr palmer, with questions over whether it was influenced by him to lift a $45 million environmental bond for his Balmoral South project in the Pilbara.

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