The State Liberals’ shield laws allowing journalists to legally protect their sources passed the Legislative Council yesterday.
Shield Laws operate in most other states and the Commonwealth – they ensure that journalists are not forced to reveal their sources unless there is a clear public interest in doing so.
These laws encourage sources to provide information to journalists without fear of retribution, and support a healthy democracy.
“It is now up to the Weatherill Labor Government in the House of Assembly to decide whether or not it will support this important piece of legislation,” said Shadow Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.
“Media organisations, journalists and members of the public have all called for the protection for sources and these laws will provide that.
“The public interest is best served by an open and transparent public conversation rather than one where people are afraid to speak out.
“Whistle-blowers need to be supported when they come forward; without this protection whistleblowers may be intimidated into silence.
“Under successive Labor governments South Australia has become the secret state.
“South Australians deserve open and transparent government, not the secret state that has come to exist under State Labor.