Inquiry begins into SA Attorney-General

Inquiry begins into SA Attorney-General

25 October 2021 By Naomi Neilson
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman

As the South Australian government prepares for next years’ state election, Attorney-General Vickie Chapman will face an inquiry over an alleged conflict of interest in a decision to allow a port to be built on Kangaroo Island for the timber industry.

Late last week, the inquiry began its probe into the conduct of Ms Chapman and her planning portfolio, which she inherited last year from former front-bencher Stephan Knoll. The select committee, which comes amid a lot of turmoil within the South Australian government, will hand down a report into its reflections in mid-November.

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When Ms Chapman took over the planning portfolio, she also became responsible for a decision for the Kangaroo Island port but ultimately refused to allow Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber’s application to begin construction. Ms Chapman, who owns land on the island, was accused of having a conflict of interest, which she denies.

Labor MP Tom Koutsantonis was reported to have told parliament that the committee would be “investigating the conduct of the Attorney-General and deputy premier in her assessment of his application”. He added if there is a “deep conflict” in her decision-making processes, “the parliament has been misled”.

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“The opposition is in receipt of evidence that we believe confirms our suspicions that the deputy premier has indeed acted inappropriately,” Mr Koutsantonis added.

In a statement following the inquiry’s establishment, Ms Chapman said the issue had already been dealt with by the speaker and had been dismissed.

“It is open to the parliament to establish a select committee, as the state government did into the Labor party’s despicable publication of a racist poster at the 2014 election, which no one has claimed responsibility for,” Ms Chapman commented.

“If this is the Labor’s parliamentary priority, that is their prerogative.”

More to come.  

Inquiry begins into SA Attorney-General
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