Oakden hearings in secret, as open Senate inquiry continues

ICAC hearings into the Oakden scandal remain shrouded in secrecy, in stark contrast to the public hearing of the Senate inquiry into Aged Care in Adelaide today.

“If the Labor Party had listened to the calls of the Oakden families and the South Australian public, the ICAC hearings into Oakden would be open and we would be able to know what was going on with that inquiry,” said Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman.

“But as it stands the ICAC hearings into Oakden remain behind closed doors because the Weatherill Labor Government has refused to back the State Liberals’ legislation which would have enabled ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander to conduct the hearings in public.

“In stark contrast, today’s Senate inquiry hearing is a public hearing where the media will be able to report on the proceedings and a number of relevant witnesses will be able to provide their evidence in a public setting.”

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.”

Jay Weatherill has also claimed in the past that: “Good governments have nothing to hide.”

“Clearly the Weatherill Government has plenty to hide in respect of its conduct regarding Oakden,” said Ms Chapman.

“The sudden resignations of Jack Snelling and Leesa Vlahos have left the Oakden families bereft of answers and appalled at the lack of transparency with respect to the alleged abuse and neglect of elderly patients at Oakden which precipitated the ICAC inquiry.”