Thursday 06 July, 2017

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (11:01): As a politician once said, 'In any race, you can always back vested interest.' That is what we just saw then from the Independent member; we saw vested interest at work. The Independent member even picks the same example the Premier used. Could you not find two examples? What an absolute disgrace. It was probably the same speechwriter as well. The Premier stands up and he pontificates, and he uses language like 'the bill was disposed of' and it was 'thrown in the bin'.

This is the sort of language that the Premier uses, as if it is almost a transaction, that because it is hurting the government he has to dispose of it; he has to get rid of it. He talks about the fact that he is worried that public hearings will become a soap opera. Well, what we have here is the next series of Survivor. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead, whatever it takes to slot the next one. This minister has been hopeless, so what have they done? They have slotted her and put her in the other house, thinking that she will fit in there out of the public eye in this place. It is an absolute disgrace.

The Premier says that the reason he refuses public hearings is that it has the potential to become a soap opera, but we know the real reason. The real reason is that he is worried he will lose all control over the process. It will be there, it will all come out in public and ultimately it will cost this government. It will be the final nail in the coffin for this putrid government he has led, time and time again, scandal after scandal, in all different portfolios. In public hearings, we know that the minister's complete incompetence will continue to be exposed, and we know that it will be lengthy. It will go on for a number of months.

Bruce Lander QC is a good man, an intelligent man and a wise counsel. He has dedicated his entire life to seeking justice for victims like the families involved at Oakden. He even says that this government does not have the appetite for transparency. He has been calling for more transparency measures since Gillman, where we not only saw a final report but what did we see? We saw an interim report. Who knows how that went, if that was edited. Then we saw a final report. It is essential that the ICAC, in this instance, be allowed open, independent hearings. It is imperative for the public's confidence in our hearings and our judicial system.

Members interjecting:


Mr TARZIA: It is imperative for the families of the victims of the disgraceful Oakden saga that they have the chance to see a fair trial in public. We know that a fair trial and a public hearing will give context. It will give context to the families because there are some things that you cannot see in black and white, Premier. You need context, and that is why these victims need to see this.

What have we got here? We have a secret state. If the minister had acted like this in any other forum, she would have been sacked, except under this protection racket that is the state Labor government of 15 years. But do not take my word for it. Why don't we ask the families involved? Let's ask Alma Krecu, who says that her late father was abused and overmedicated at Oakden. She said it was an absolute disgrace that hearings into potential misconduct and maladministration would remain behind closed doors.

What about Barb Spriggs? Barb Spriggs, whose husband, Bob, died after alleged mistreatment at Oakden, said she was disappointed and frustrated that the government had quashed the push for transparency. She said, 'We want it to be exposed so that it makes other people aware that if you do wrong then it's going to be made public.' Do not take my word for it; perhaps take the word of the victims and the victims' families, who have gone through so much and who do not deserve to go through more than they already have. We applaud the member in the other place for putting this bill forward. I again ask the Independents to have a good look at themselves and support our bill.