8 July 2022
State Government Ministers are one step closer to being required to publicly disclose their diaries, after a Greens bill passed the Upper House last night.
The bill would bring South Australia into line with the ACT, Queensland, and NSW in requiring State Ministers to publicly disclose all meetings, events and functions which relate to their professional responsibility.
The bill was supported by the Liberals and SA Best but was opposed by the Labor Government.
“The community hates the idea of Ministers having secret meetings behind closed doors. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the public has a right to know who Government Ministers are meeting with and why,” said Greens MLC Robert Simms.
“It’s disappointing to see the Malinauskas Government oppose this simple transparency measure in the Upper House. Why shouldn’t SA Labor Ministers be subject to the same scrutiny as their peers in the ACT, Queensland and NSW?” The bill will now go to the House of Assembly where I hope the Government changes their position.”
Mr Simms’ bill does not require the disclosure of personal meetings and will permit the omission of information deemed by the Minister to be contrary to the public interest. This decision may then be subject to review by the Ombudsman or SACAT, should a member of public wish to contest it.