Australian Conservatives’ State Leader the Hon Dennis Hood MLC today announced he will introduce legislation to grant the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) the powers to hold public hearings during maladministration and misconduct investigations, but not those which involve allegations of corruption.
“ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander’s request for the ability to undertake hearings publicly is in the best interests of all South Australians,” Mr Hood said. “I will be drafting a bill to grant the Commissioner the rights he is seeking.”
Mr Hood spoke with the Advertiser about the need for shedding light on these matters “to give the public confidence that everything possible was being done to smash the culture of cover-up uncovered by Chief Psychiatrist Aaron Groves’ scathing report.”
“Why should we be in the situation where these things are done behind closed doors? That serves as no deterrent to anybody,” Mr Hood said, “people need to be able to see that there are consequences for maladministration.”
Australian Conservatives support open hearings for maladministration inquiries, rather than corruption cases, which can end up in court.
UPDATE: The SA Liberals subsequently announced on Wednesday 31 May that they would, in effect, follow Australian Conservatives (SA)’s lead and legislate to allow public hearings for ICAC in maladministration cases