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Shield Laws – protecting journalists and their sources

The Marshall Government will introduce Shield Laws when the new parliament sits, to protect journalists and their sources.

“The introduction of Shield Laws will increase government transparency and accountability,” said Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“We committed to introducing these laws to give effective protection to journalists and their sources prior to the election, and now the new State Government is delivering on that commitment.

“The Liberal Party has pushed for Shield Laws in South Australia for an extended period of time, but our attempts to get the legislation through the last parliament were thwarted by the previous Labor administration.”

Shield Laws give journalists protection against being compelled to reveal a confidential source in a court setting, which in turn protects the source and encourages people to come forward with information which is in the public interest.

“In a marked change from the previous government, the Marshall Government is advancing the interests of transparency, openness and informed public debate through these Shield Laws,” said Ms Chapman.

“A draft Bill is now out for consultation for stakeholders in the media and the general public to provide feedback on.

“Shield Laws operate in most other states and at the Commonwealth level, and are important in a functioning democracy where people can provide information to journalists without fear of retribution.

“This measure, along with allowing open ICAC hearings into maladministration, is part of the Liberal plan to deliver open and accountable government.”