The amendment repeals s 130(1) of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 (SA), which currently provides:
‘If the Executive Board refuses or fails to comply with the direction of the Minister under section 9D(4), 13A(3), 13G(4) or 13N, or not less than 4 members of the Executive Board refuses or fail to attend a meeting called by the Minister under section 11, the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette suspend the Executive Board for a period specified in the notice or until further notice in the Gazette.’
The Act inserts a replacement of s 130(1) in the following terms:
‘The Minister may, for any reason he or she thinks fit, by notice in the Gazette, suspend the Executive Board for a period specified in the notice or until further notice in the Gazette.’
Many people have criticised the Bill, including the Law Society of South Australia who note that ‘the unfettered discretion given to the Minister may be inconsistent with the principles of good government and the rule of law, which require that Ministers be accountable for administrative decisions reached. In the absence of statutory criteria, the process of judicial review becomes more difficult, and the ability of the public to make judgements about the Minister’s decision is restricted’.
For further information, see the Second Reading Speech.