On 30 November 2001, the Australian press council denounced censorship of news concerning the detention of a group of asylum-seekers who arrived from Indonesia by boat. The country’s media were refused access to the detention centres, most of them located in the back-country or on Pacific islands. Some journalists obtained clandestine interviews, but most of them had to make do with information provided by the authorities. According to the government, their goal was not to block the media, but, above all, to "protect the privacy of the detainees".
In December, the Australian chapter of the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) held a press conference denouncing the difficulties that journalists encountered obtaining information from federal and provincial administrations. "The law on freedom of information is not respected and the authorities only give information in the public interest when they want to," said the president of the CPU in Australia.