Second Reading

Ms CHAPMAN ( Bragg—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (11:22): I contribute to this debate by simply adding that, in addition to the opposition supporting the passage of this bill, the Attorney-General has been requested during the course of the public consultation on this bill, of which two drafts have been published by the government online, to provide to the opposition a copy of all submissions prepared and submitted by stakeholders and members of the public.

The Attorney-General has written to the opposition confirming that he will consider whether we are allowed to see them or not. I have had no further follow-up from that and I indicate that I find that absolutely shameful. We have been debating this legislation, in a form of reports or drafts, for 13 years under this government and here we come to the pointy end, to the determination by the government that they will actually acquiesce to Margaret Nyland's report and her recommendations and yet, at this end, we are not allowed to see the submissions of stakeholders, of South Australians who, after such a long battle, have presented submissions to the government for amendment.

One thing that I will say that has come from this period of consultation is the removal of what I would consider the scandalous attempt by this government to have the wholly-owned control of who a commissioner should be. If a commissioner is to be independent, as our police commissioner is, and the like, in this state, then they must be appointed through a proper process.

The government has acquiesced to amend that in order to make provision for the Statutory Officers Committee to be able to review the applicants and put recommendations, and secondly to allow for the removal of the officer by this parliament, if ever required, just as we have with the electoral commissioner and other important persons in statutory office. So, that has been included, and I welcome that. We can have argy-bargy about investigative powers, but let's be absolutely clear: the opposition has always said that if we are going to have a commissioner, which we want and which has been recommended from Robyn Layton, it must have investigative powers.

Whether it is for an individual case to determine the reason why something has happened or the purposes of statutory and systemic reform, we must have it in this bill, and we thank Margaret Nyland for having the courage in her report to say to this government and this parliament that this is a necessary prerequisite for the purpose of having a commissioner for children and young people in this state. Well done, Ms Nyland, and thank you for that recommendation. At last, this parliament has an opportunity to pass this important piece of legislation. As for the AttorneyGeneral, I hope he is writing up the advertisement as we speak to get this matter on the road.