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Your views: on leashing ICAC

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a law curbing the powers of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

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Commenting on the story: Richardson: The strange, swift death of SA’s ICAC and Your views Friday September 24

At least the bill puts paid to the argument that it takes time to put legislation through parliament (as in the assisted dying bill argument by the Premier).

Following this, it shows you only have to have the will to do it. From now on it is only a question of: ‘why don’t you want to’. – Peter Annear

If parliament were required to vote on a bill ending homelessness in Adelaide, I doubt it would pass without some discussion or opposition. Why then this astonishing show of support to reduce the powers of ICAC?
Let each politician explain to their motives to their constituents. Otherwise the question hangs in the air. Who benefits? – Kerry Hailstone

A story one day lamenting the untimely death of a respected police officer, allegedly due to an ICAC investigation that ultimately found no corruption. The next day a story lamenting the death of ICAC.

The first should be of concern for all South Australian citizens, the second should be celebrated. I only hope the changes to the Act will prevent the destruction of many reputations, lives and careers that have taken place due to ICAC.

I personally have little respect for the office of ICAC and no respect for the former commissioner. I thank the Hon. Frank Pangello MLC and would now urge him to continue to investigate the operation of the office of ICAC under its former commissioner and where necessary compensate those people who have lost so much thanks to ICAC investigations and the inability of those being investigated to respond due to “confidentiality” requirements of the former ICAC Act.

It was inevitable that politicians will be accused of protecting themselves but hopefully the reality is that all public servants and others citizens will also now be protected.

The problem where strong powers of investigation are given will always be: who watches the watcher. – Kevin Knight

I’m not sure that Bruce Lander understands the public apathy or even disdain for what little ICAC has achieved over the period he presided over it.

Nothing I’ve seen reported about ICAC has given me any confidence that it has produced any results worthy of note. And I keep reflecting on the fact that investigators were sent to Germany by ICAC to find out whether a trip to Germany by Renewal SA staff was justified. What an utter waste of SA cash – investigate yourselves, ICAC.

Lander’s comments reported in the article seem to be clutching at a positive legacy for his role amongst the mess the watchdog became.

While we mock politicians for being out of touch sometimes, I think all sides have read the public on the changes that were waved through.  I applaud both houses for unanimously correcting the remit of a self-important ICAC. – Luke Wignall

Gutting ICAC? So what do they really have to hide because let’s face it, if you’re not ripping off the public purse or actually doing your job legitimately, why be so scared? – Andrew Robertson

With health looming as a major issue in the coming state election – particularly with the latest call by all health bodies with regard to the provision of resources before any thought of a pathway out of our current Covid 19 restrictions is entertained – I find it confusing and difficult to understand the decision to move to restrict the powers and independence of ICAC and its current Commissioner, the universally respected Ann Vanstone.

It is even more confusing when SA Best, in presiding over the Senate Select Committee on Health Services in South Australia, has heard a litany of massive problems in our hospitals with regard to poor outcomes as a result of lack of resources and manpower from patients, patient’s parents, concerned medical, nursing and midwifery and ancillary staff which are continually ignored or obfuscated by SA Health particularly at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital which is in crisis in a number of critical areas.

The dysfunction and toxic culture within SA Health was about to be more thoroughly investigated by the previous ICAC Commissioner, the respected Bruce Lander, but he was unable to gain the necessary finance to extend his investigation before his term of office ended.

What hope do we have as a community in calling to account a regularly reported dysfunctional major government department in SA Health if we are denied the privilege of having an Independent Commissioner Against Corruption? – John Svigos

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