The Outlaw and Rogue State of South Australia, in breathtaking news yesterday, has voted to maintain secrecy for cabinet documents in the wake of the last in a series of scandals battering the people of the state. In effect, this makes the already weak Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) a total farce, and its head Bruce Lander has joined the revolt, reports Daniel Wills in the Advertiser.
ICAC boss blasts state ministers over lack of responsibility
ANALYSIS: These days, Jay’s all about secrecy
ICAC to investigate what ministers knew about Oakden
Yet another case of abuse at Oakden
The legislation, brought by the Liberals, was to allow open hearings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into the Oakden aged-care scandal.
However the three crossbench MPs — Geoff Brock, former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith, and former Labor MP Frances Bedford — sided with Labor to keep ICAC hearings from the public.
The legislation had unanimous backing in the Upper House
Ex-Liberal Duncan McFetridge was not present for the vote.
Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said the Liberals wanted to:
“end the toxic culture of secrecy and cover-up that has poisoned SA during 15 years of Labor Government.”
“We will provide the Corruption Commissioner with the powers to hold public hearings to ensure the people of South Australia fully understand how elderly patients suffering dementia came to be treated in such an appalling manner,” he said.
“The State Liberals’ long-stated position has been for ICAC to conduct more open and transparent proceedings.
“Commissioner Lander has recognised that in respect of issues relating to serious or systemic maladministration the capacity to conduct public hearings when appropriate is a critical component of the democratic process.
“The Weatherill Government is desperate to avoid public hearings regarding its failure to protect elderly patients at Oakden from abuse and neglect.”
Mr Marshall said no minister had taken true responsibility for Oakden.
“Jay Weatherill’s fatuous claims that he accepts responsibility for his Government’s failings at Oakden are fatally undermined by his opposition to public hearings,” Mr Marshall said.
“No Labor Government Minister has taken responsibility for a decade of abuse and neglect of patients at Oakden and denying the Commissioner’s request to conduct the hearing in public is designed to maintain the status quo.
“Commissioner Lander has indicated he is interested in determining who is responsible for the Oakden scandal — Jay Weatherill clearly isn’t.”
Dr McFetridge this afternoon told The Advertiser said he supported open ICAC hearings and was absent from the vote for personal reasons.
ICAC head Bruce Lander has repeatedly stated his preference for the ability to hold open hearings and yesterday took a swipe at ministers he believed are trying to “diminish” his investigation into Oakden.
He questioned why Mr Weatherill was refusing to release Cabinet documents that might relate to the facility, even before they had been requested.
Mr Lander said he felt ministers “take less responsibility than they did 20 or 30 years ago” for problems uncovered under their watch.
Feature image sourced from Amazon The Secret State
Incoming comments from the Advertiser:
Readership comments suggest the people of SA have had enough of politicians of all persuasions, leaving us with the question, what is the future of the Secret State without politicians of integrity in parliament?
Other media: It just gets better as the House of Corrupt cards tumbles,
Jay Weatherill has slapped down his deputy John Rau, after the Attorney-General publicly contradicted the embattled Premier in parliament yesterday over his refusal to release cabinet documents to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s Oakden investigation.
Jay Weatherill’s administration has antagonised the highly respected Independent Commissioner Against Corruption in an episode that highlights both the Government’s hypocrisy and its deteriorating political instincts.
ABC – South Australia’s anti-corruption commissioner Bruce Lander has spoken out after the state’s Labor Government and key independent MPs killed off a fresh attempt to give him the right to hold public hearings.
Nine News :
The South Australian government has voted down a bill that would have given the state’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Bruce Lander the power to hold some hearings in public.
The opposition introduced the legislation to state parliament on Thursday, after Mr Lander opened his investigation into Adelaide’s scandal-plagued Oakden nursing home, where elderly dementia patients were abused.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/06/01/10/00/sa-opposition-wants-public-icac-hearings#qfVLqUSUOLSFvaQH.99