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Push for an ICAC in South Australia -

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ELEANOR HALL: The State Government remains opposed to it but South Australia is a step closer to
having an independent commission against corruption, with a private member's bill passing the State
Parliament's Upper House overnight.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has also backed the establishment of an anti-corruption body
and the State Opposition says it's essential to guard against any corrupt land dealings in the
state.

In Adelaide, Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: The passing of the private member's bill to establish an independent commission
against corruption in South Australia is a first.

For years similar attempts were defeated in Parliament.

Family First MP Robert Brokenshire was quick to trump his achievement after his private member's
bill was passed in the Upper House.

ROBERT BROKENSHIRE: This is groundbreaking because it's the first time an ICAC bill that's been put
up has passed the Legislative Council. That's the people's House and the people of South Australia
are telling the Government they want an ICAC. The leadership of justice are telling the Government
they want an ICAC. And the ICAC bill now passed, bipartisan, is before the Government's House, the
House of Assembly, and they'll have to explain very closely in the debate why they will not support
the bill.

NANCE HAXTON: But while the bill has overcome one hurdle it's unlikely to get through South
Australia's Lower House given the Government's opposition to any such state body.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann wants any investigate body to be federal.

MIKE RANN: The national ICAC, like the National Crime Authority, would guarantee independence from
any administration and would have a roving brief over every state because crime does not abide by
borders.

NANCE HAXTON: But the pressure for a South Australian anti-corruption body is mounting.

The bill's passage coincided with the Director of Public Prosecution's annual report to Parliament
in which he said the establishment of an ICAC was inevitable.

DPP Stephen Pallaras says such an authority is the best tool to minimise corruption and prosecute
those who engage in corrupt practices.

STEPHEN PALLARAS: This is not a subsection of a police force's taskforce. This is an area of
offending which requires its own investigative body because of its size, because of the difficulty
in investigating these offences. We can't have police officers tied up for long periods of time
without producing results. They are need on the streets.

What we do need is a body that has the experience and has the time and has the resources to put
proper time and effort into investigation corruption, which after all is an offence which those who
are committing it are doing their best to hide. And it's a difficult area to investigate. It's not
something that can be done by me or by the Police Commissioner.

NANCE HAXTON: Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond says the Premier is dodging the issue by trying to
fob off the responsibility to a federal body.

ISOBEL REDMOND: To say that you're going to do it on a national basis is a nonsense in my view.

NANCE HAXTON: Would it be an unnecessary expense though? What issues of murky corruption could
there possibly be in South Australia that such a body is needed?

ISOBEL REDMOND: It's actually not really the high level stuff that's going to get us. It's the fact
that people need to feel confident that all of our departments and agencies and local councils are
behaving properly so that there's no-one getting kickbacks to make decisions on planning approvals
or the letting of contracts for government departments or the purchasing of goods and services.

And when you look at the sorts of things that have been uncovered in New South Wales and Queensland
for instance, think of the Wollongong City Council and what went on there and I know that there was
undercover operations in place for 18 months before that was ever exposed.

NANCE HAXTON: Are you concerned that there could be similar dodgy dealings with land developments
in South Australia?

ISOBEL REDMOND: Absolutely. I mean, you know, unless we have an independent commission against
corruption we've got no way of independently testing whether or not it's happening.

And to think that it's not happening somehow across the borders in South Australia, although it's
happening in Western Australia and New South Wales and so on, is just a nonsense.

NANCE HAXTON: And that's South Australia's Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond ending Nance Haxton's
report.