“Good governments have nothing to hide.” – Jay Weatherill
The State Liberals have reconfirmed their commitment to allow the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) to conduct public hearings at the Commissioner’s discretion.
Today will see the report into the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service released publicly.
When the Commissioner announced his investigation into Oakden he gave a clear indication that he wanted public hearings on the matter, but the legislation prevented that.
“The Liberal Party has repeatedly called for open ICAC maladministration hearings into matters such as Oakden, but this arrogant and secretive Weatherill Labor Government has steadfastly refused to allow open hearings,” said Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman.
“If successful on the 17th of March a Marshall Liberal Government will legislate to empower the ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander to conduct public hearings into matters of maladministration as he sees fit.
“Attempts to legislate for open hearings were blocked by Labor and Independent MPs, despite support for public hearings from the families of Oakden residents, the public, a broad cross-section of the parliament, and the ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander himself.
“The Labor Party’s refusal to cast off the cloak of secrecy and agree to an open, public investigation into Oakden will be judged very harshly by the people of South Australia.
“The Weatherill Government sought to play down the significance of the ICAC hearing into the Oakden scandal by repeatedly referring to it as an Ombudsman’s investigation.
“Jay Weatherill has spent the last ten months denying his Government’s responsibility in the scandalous abuse of elderly patients at the Oakden facility.
“Jay Weatherill’s refusal to allow open hearings into Oakden makes a mockery of his promise to: “present a government that is open and accountable.”
“The only way for South Australia to have greater transparency and accountability through open hearings is to change the government at the upcoming state election by voting Liberal.”