Independent commissioner against corruption amendment (no 2) bill

Mr DULUK (Davenport) (10:50): I rise to support the bill introduced by the Hon. Dennis Hood in the other place. It is quite the opposite, Premier: this bill and the opportunity for an open ICAC is an opportunity to give the people of South Australia a voice, for the people of South Australia to know what this government has been hiding for years from the people of South Australia, and to have their faith restored in our systems and in our institutions that has been so lacking, for so long, for so many years by those opposite.

Ultimately, this bill will allow the ICAC commissioner, in his capacity as the commissioner, not as the Ombudsman, to hear those hearings as he sees fit, with his integrity and discretion to have that hearing in public. Why would any of us want to oppose transparency? What do we have to hide? As the member for Waite said yesterday in his deliberations about the bank commission: open and clean air is the best disinfectant. Why would that same principle not apply to this Oakden scandal?

I know why the government does not want to have an open hearing into Oakden—because they are embarrassed about what an open hearing may bring out in the lead-up to an election. That is the problem, because if they were not embarrassed about what it will bring to the fore there would be no problem. We already have the reviews that have been undertaken by government agencies— and these reviews have been going on for a long time—but this government has not brought those reviews and findings to the people of South Australia.

Finding No. 2 of the review found that the Oakden facility is more like a mental institution from the middle of the last century than a modern older person's mental health facility. That is the type of information that the government would not want in the public domain. If you were afraid of open hearings, as they are, you would not want the people of South Australia to know that staffing at Oakden has been inadequate for years and years and years. You would not want them to know that there has been a culture of corruption, cover-up, poor morale, disrespect, bickering, secrecy, an inward-looking approach, control and a sense of entitlement and indifference.

This is the culture that has been happening at Oakden. This is the culture of this government, and you do not want to see that culture available to the public because you are embarrassed by it. But if you had nothing to hide, you would support these most important measures. If you were not embarrassed and you had nothing to hide, then you would not have your review into Oakden only looking at 2016; you would go back through the whole term of government. You have not allowed that to happen, and the only way that it will happen, the only way for the families of the victims and those who have been affected and those who have died in these institutions and their families to get the respect and the closure they need is to have an independent and public inquiry into Oakden so that they can have their belief and faith restored in our system.

They are not going to get it from this government. They are not going to get it from the Premier. They certainly will not get it from the Minister for Mental Health, who has been presiding over the Oakden scandal and has failed to answer question after question. They will not use parliament as the right forum to be open and honest. They will not use the department as the right forum to be open and honest. All we are left now is for the people of South Australia to have an independent commission against corruption to use its discretion for an open hearing. If we cannot support that in this parliament, then I think that reflects poorly on all of us.

As the leader alluded to in his speech, the only people who are stopping an open inquiry into Oakden are the government and those members who support the government. Those Independents opposite who support the government and the Labor Party themselves are the only people in this parliament who do not support open hearings; the rest of the crossbench does, as so many of us do, and that is what we need.

They do not want to hear the story because if we have an open inquiry into this Oakden mess, we will know that for years and years recommendations from departments, from the Office of the Ageing and from people implementing the dementia action plan in 2011 have been calling for more funding into Oakden and into mental health and geriatric facilities in South Australia. Going back to the Chief Psychiatrist's report, from way back in 2007 we know that there was a need for more funding into Oakden. We know that there were all these plans and recommendations to be put into place, but they have not been implemented by this government.

We cannot trust this government to do the right thing. We cannot trust the ministers to do the right thing. All South Australia and South Australians have now is the commissioner himself to allow there to be at his discretion an open inquiry into Oakden so that the people of South Australia and the victims of the families of the Oakden facility c