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Law Council of Australia


Data Sharing and Release Legislation Reforms Discussion Paper

The submission to the Office of the National Data Commissioner’s (ONDC) Data Sharing and Release Legislative Reforms Discussion Paper was prepared by the Law Council.

In its 2017 report, Data Availability and Use, the Productivity Commission concluded that ‘lack of trust by both data custodians and users in existing data access processes and protections and numerous hurdles to sharing and releasing data are choking the use and value of Australia’s data’, and recommended ‘the creation of a data sharing and release structure that indicates to all data custodians a strong and clear cultural shift towards better data use that can be dialled up for the sharing or release of higher-risk datasets’. The Productivity Commission recommended reforms ‘aimed at moving from a system based on risk aversion and avoidance, to one based on transparency and confidence in data processes, treating data as an asset and not a threat’. 

The Law Council notes that the Discussion Paper reflects the findings of the Productivity Commission and proposes empowerment of data sharing between Australian Government agencies, provided the data sharing arrangements comply with relevant data governance requirements (detailed in the Discussion Paper). The Law Council supports this approach.

You can read the full submission below. 


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