Well, well, well. Senate crossbencher Rex Patrick won his case in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Patrick was seeking the records and minutes related to the meetings of the so-called National Cabinet, a body that the PM invented at the start of the pandemic. Patrick’s Freedom of Information requests were being denied under one of the allowed grounds, namely that what the Senator wanted amounted to an ‘official record of a committee of cabinet’. The judge said ‘no’ to the government’s defence of Cabinet confidentiality. Why? Because the so-called National Cabinet was in fact not a subcommittee of the federal Cabinet. And the Prime Minister could not establish it as such by imperial fiat. (I paraphrase you understand, but do so in keeping with the spirit of the PM’s defence.) In my view, Justice White was plainly correct. No one had ever heard of this ‘National Cabinet’ before the PM and his advisors conjured it up out of thin air, Harry Potter-like, with a wave of the Diagon Alley wand.

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