The National Archives of Australia has announced the recent transfer of 82 Cabinet records from the year 2003, which took place between 31 December 2023 and 5 January 2024. This transfer, completed with the cooperation of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, enriches the National Archives’ collection with valuable documents, including 13 National Security Committee records closely related to the Iraq War and one additional record that briefly mentions the conflict.

These 14 prioritised records have undergone thorough examination in consultation with relevant agencies. The National Archives of Australia has concluded access decisions, making these documents available for public viewing online via RecordSearch. Out of these, 12 records are fully open, while 2 are categorised as Open with Exception (OWE), where certain information remains withheld for security reasons.

For family history researchers and genealogists, these records could be particularly useful as they provide insights into Australia’s political and social landscape during 2003. They offer a unique perspective on events such as the Iraq War and policies affecting the nation, which could be invaluable for tracing historical context or understanding the decisions that may have influenced ancestors’ lives.

In compliance with the Archives Act 1983, the National Archives is committed to making information as accessible as possible while adhering to legal obligations to protect national security and personal safety. Under the Act, exemptions apply to information that could jeopardise Australia’s security or endanger individuals. The specifics of these exemptions will be detailed in statements included within each record on RecordSearch.

The examination of the remaining 68 records, covering topics like aviation and maritime security, terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies, fuel excise, and foreign affairs, is ongoing. These documents will be made available online progressively over the coming months, contributing further to the wealth of information accessible through the National Archives.

These records, part of series A14371, are now listed for public access, marking a significant addition to the National Archives of Australia’s extensive repository of historical documents. Have a look below:

Title Control symbol Item ID Access status
Iraq: Australian contingency arrangements for possible military action JH03/0001/P1 32712254 OPEN
National Foreign Intelligence Assessment Priorities JH03/0024/P1 202904983 OWE
Iraq: Authority of Australian Defence Force Military Action JH03/0124/P1 32711388 OPEN
Iraq JH03/0128/P1 32712486 OPEN
Iraq: Phase IV – Australian Engagement in Post-Conflict Activities JH03/0146/P1 202905000 OPEN
Iraq Economic Reconstruction and Debt Issues JH03/0203/P1 31472107 OPEN
Iraq Update JH03/0216/P1 31472113 OPEN
Operation Catalyst JH03/0242/P1 31472118 OPEN
ADF Contribution to the Rehabilitation of Iraq – Financial Aspects JH03/0269/P1 31472121 OPEN
Iraq Update JH03/0310/P1 31472126 OPEN
Review of ADF Participation in Operation CATALYST AND SLIPPER JH03/0368/P1 31472135 OWE
Iraq Update JH03/0385/P1 32712489 OPEN
Lessons Arising from Operations Bastille and Falconer JH03/0389/P1 31472138 OPEN
Iraq Update JH03/0443/P1 31472147 OPEN

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