Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, the Honourable Bruce Lander QC, has lent support to Australian Conservatives Upper House candidate Robert Brokenshire MLC's campaign for ICAC hearings to be conducted in public.
Commissioner Lander today released a report on the Oakden Older Person's Mental Health Facility titled: "Oakden: A Shameful Chapter in South Australia's History".
Mr Lander says,"Every South Australian should feel outraged at what happened at the Oakden Facility. The consumers at Oakden were poorly catered for, forgotten and ignored."
"The facility itself was grossly substandard," he said.
And he admitted that his report's findings, "Do not tell the entire story of responsibility for what went wrong...Senior people, including Ministers and Chief Executives...should have known what was going on but did not. I found this astonishing," he said
Commissioner Lander continued,"This investigation was conducted in private as required by legislation. However, it has reinforced my view that the ICAC Act should be ameded to give me the discretion to conduct such investigations in public."
Australian Conservatives MLC Dennis Hood said,"Today the Hon Bruce Lander has called for a change in legislation to allow open and transparent ICAC hearings where needed."
"This legislation has already been introduced by the Australian Conservatives in the SA parliament last year. It passed the Upper House but the government put it low on the House of Assembly agenda and it was wiped off when parliament was prorogued at the end of the year to make way for the election," he said.
"I will make sure this is back on the table when parliament resumes after the election."
"The Oakden scandal is a sad indictment on Government secrecy and the way departments have been run under Labor and the Australian Conservatives are calling for a better way to be established," he continued.
"The bill we put to the parliament, and will reintroduce, allows for open hearings in cases of maladministration and misconduct. Hearings regarding corruption would still be private as to allow legal integrity to remain in case the matter has to be referred to the police or courts," Mr Hood said.