Russell Emmerson in The Advertiser quotes the Minister as saying the move was aimed at enhancing democracy, not hobbling it.
"It's vital that witnesses feel they can provide full, free and frank information to the Burnside investigation without fear of defamation threats and other reprisals," she said."If people feel intimidated and avoid providing any evidence, or parts of it, then it would completely undermine the purpose of holding this investigation."In an editorial The Advertiser comments:
"Of course, chief among the reasons the inquiry will be kept secret, save for a sanitised report to be tabled, is damage control.Nowhere in the FoI Act will the reader find the term damage control, but it continues to serve as its primary purpose."All sorts of investigations happen in and around government everyday. They need to be full and fair.Information, which if disclosed, would prejudice proper investigation needs to be protected. It's surprising standard exemptions in the FOI Act weren't judged sufficiently robust to protect sensitive information in this instance.(Update: The Minister says the investigator requested the change)
South Australia is one of three Australian jurisdictions choosing not to speak the words "fundamental reform" when it comes to access to government information.