29 Nov 2017
The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN (17:26): In respect of this motion, the Liberal Party notes the allegations that are made in the Police Ombudsman’s report, acknowledges that they are very serious and calls into question the Police Disciplinary Tribunal processes. There is a particular quote I will read to members, under the title Secrecy, where the Ombudsman says:
The PDT [Police Disciplinary Tribunal] operates in secret. There is no reason in my view why it should not be open to members of the media and members of the public. If necessary, the names of the police officers and witnesses before the tribunal could be supressed, but the proceedings otherwise reported in full, including findings and including any penalty ultimately imposed. In my view it is in the public interest for proceedings of the PDT to be heard openly. It is most unhealthy that they are not.
The Ombudsman goes on to say:
The fact that the proceedings have been heard in private for over 30 years has led to an unhealthy situation where the PDT operates as a ‘closed shop’.
The Liberal Party also acknowledges the response by the Police Association of South Australia. This is in a letter dated 25 October 2017 to the Hon. Chris Picton, the Minister for Police in the other place:
The Liberal Party notes that, as the Police Ombudsman’s position has now been transferred into the Office of Public Integrity, the Liberal Party wishes honourable members to note that it supports the continued access by the Office of Public Integrity to Police Disciplinary Tribunal hearings. The Liberal Party holds the Police Ombudsman, his office and his staff in the highest regard.View source