Legislative Council: Thursday, March 21, 2024


Electoral Commission

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:26): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Attorney-General relating to the Electoral Commission.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: In response to a freedom of information application from the opposition in December, the Electoral Commissioner of South Australia made a determination to extend the time which the agency has to deal with the freedom of information application by a period of 158 calendar days, making the due date Friday 28 June 2024. Reasons cited include insufficient staff and resources available to reply within the required time frame. My questions to the Attorney-General are:

1. Is the Attorney-General satisfied that the Electoral Commission has appropriate levels of resourcing to deliver on its legislated obligations?

2. Is the Attorney-General confident in the capacity of the Electoral Commission to deliver on its legislated obligations?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:27): I thank the honourable member for her question. Certainly, the Electoral Commission has shown over many decades their capability of running elections that are the envy of democratic jurisdictions around the world. The fact that we have so many elections that go relatively incident free I think demonstrates that over many years the Electoral Commission has done a very good job.

If there are budget pressures, the same as when the Liberals were last in government, this government will consider them for the Electoral Commission in relation to a particular FOI matter. I don't know what the FOI matter was. I don't know how many requests there were. I don't know how many hours it's expected to take, so I don't have an answer to that.