State Parliament votes on open Oakden hearings

State Parliament’s Upper House has today passed legislation to provide the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption with the power to hold public hearings into maladministration in public.

“Today’s vote is an important step towards ensuring proper public scrutiny of the treatment of vulnerable elderly South Australians at the State Government run Oakden facility,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Dennis Hood’s Private Member’s Bill mirrors the legislation the State Liberals introduced to the Lower House and was blocked by the Weatherill Labor Government.

“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.

“No Labor Government Minister has taken responsibility for a decade of abuse and neglect of patients at Oakden and denying the Commissioner’s request to conduct the hearings in public is designed to maintain the status quo.

“Despite the appalling conditions exposed in the Chief Psychiatrist’s report into Oakden, Jay Weatherill remains Premier, Jack Snelling remains Health Minister and Leesa Vlahos is still the Minister for Mental Health.”