Lower House to vote on open Oakden hearings

Legislation to provide the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption with the power to hold public hearings into the Oakden scandal returns to the Lower House of State Parliament this morning.

Yesterday the Liberal Party and the minor parties in the Upper House voted in favour of empowering the ICAC to conduct public hearings into maladministration at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Today the spotlight is locked on the Independents in the Lower House who have the power to ensure an open hearing into the Oakden scandal.

“The Independents in the Lower House will have the opportunity to rectify their profound mistake of opposing open hearings into the Oakden scandal,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“The only people in South Australia who are against public hearings and increased transparency are the Labor caucus, Mr Hamilton-Smith, Mr Brock and Ms Bedford.

“It’s time for the Independents to cast off the cloak of secrecy and change their position on an open, public investigation into the Oakden scandal.

“There is an avalanche of support for public hearings, from the families of Oakden residents, to the general public, and a broad cross-section of the Parliament.

“Jay Weatherill is desperate to avoid public hearings into the failings of his government during the Oakden scandal.

“This is yet another example of just how far out of touch the tired, old and arrogant Weatherill Labor Government has become.

“Jay Weatherill is completely out of step with public opinion on open hearings into the Oakden scandal, his toxic state bank tax and his cuts to frontline health services under Transforming Health.

“Commissioner Lander has recognised that in respect of issues relating to serious or systemic maladministration the capacity to conduct public hearings when appropriate is critical.

“Jay Weatherill’s claims that he accepts responsibility for his Government’s failings at Oakden are fatally undermined by his opposition to public hearings.