The Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) tables an annual report each year in the Parliament of South Australia. Each annual report outlines financial performance, key initiatives for the department and support of whole-of-government initiatives.
The Honourable Vickie Chapman MP
Minister for Planning and Local Government
This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Public Sector Act 2009, Architectural Practice Act 2009, Associations Incorporation Act 1985, Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000, Building Work Contractors Act 1995, Casino Act 1997, Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act 2014, Companies (Administration) Act 1982, Conveyancers Act 1994, Co-operatives National Law (South Australia) Act 2013, Fair Trading Act 1987, Fines Enforcement and Debt Recovery Act 2017, Gaming Machines Act 1992, Land Agents Act 1994, Land Valuers Act 1995, Liquor Licensing Act 1997, Outback Communities (Administration and Management) Act 2009, Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, Plumbers, Gas fitters and Electricians Act 1995, Residential Parks Act 2007, Residential Tenancies Act 1995, Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995, Security and Investigation Industry Act 1995, South Australian Local Government Grants Commission Act 1992, West Beach Recreation Reserve Act 1987 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.
This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.
Submitted on behalf of the Attorney-General's Department by:
30 September 2021
It has been another challenging year for many South Australians, and the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) has not been immune from the difficulties presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet despite these challenges, AGD has continued to provide high quality services to both Government and the people of South Australia, adapting to the changing environment and ensuring our services are provided in a timely, efficient and professional manner.
As with the previous year, this agency has played a pivotal role in the Government’s ongoing response to COVID-19, with the Crown Solicitor’s Office, Parliamentary Counsel and Legislative Services providing advice and support on ongoing measures to protect South Australians through directions enacted by the State Coordinator and laws enacted by Parliament. In addition, Consumer and Business Services continued to support liquor licence holders and the Small Business Commissioner advocated on behalf of those small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
As the state’s largest employer of the legal profession, this agency also watched with great interest as the then Acting Commissioner for Equal Opportunity reviewed the workplace culture within the legal profession, making recommendations aimed at delivering a fairer, more inclusive workplace free of discrimination and sexual harassment or abuse.
Given the processes and policies already in place within the public sector, AGD was well-advanced in providing avenues for staff to report concerns about sexual harassment or discrimination. However, there is still work to be done, and we are committed to addressing those findings and recommendations that impact our staff.
The commitment of AGD to helping the most vulnerable in our community has continued. The Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Advocate have strengthened efforts to work collaboratively in relation to shared clients, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Victims of Crime SA have worked to assist victims to navigate the justice system, despite the uncertainty created by COVID-19.
Our agency has worked tirelessly to progress numerous reforms – including many aimed at strengthening our criminal justice system and better protecting victims of domestic and family violence, including changes to South Australia’s sentencing discount laws to ensure the scheme is more in line with community expectations while still achieving its goals, and the abolition of provocation laws in line with recommendations of the South Australian Law Reform Institute.
This year we also welcomed the staff of Planning and Land Use Services, the Office of Local Government, the Office of the Valuer-General and the Office of the Registrar-General to the department, with the Attorney-General taking on the Planning and Local Government portfolios. We have helped facilitate the passage of long-gestating reforms to the laws governing our state’s councils and will be working to implement those progressively.
2020-21 also heralded the final phase of reforms to the Planning and Design Code that have helped streamline the application and assessment process and improve certainty and consistency around decision-making. Both reforms are significant and represent many years of hard work and commitment by those involved.
Through Consumer and Business Services, we have ushered in greater transparency in petrol pricing by introducing a trial of real time petrol price monitoring. The scheme gives all South Australians access to accurate, up-to-date information about petrol prices to help them find the cheapest price at the bowser.
During the past financial year, and beyond, we have farewelled the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit which moved to the Department of Treasury and Finance and a number of senior staff who moved on to other positions.
It was with equal amounts of pride and sadness that we said farewell to the Crown Solicitor, Laura Stein, who has been appointed to the Supreme Court. She has made a tremendous contribution to the Crown Solicitor’s Office over some 20 years – both in terms of her legal work, and her work on reform on the structure and processes within the office itself.
It was also with great sadness that we saw the early retirement of Zero, the state’s inaugural canine court companion, due to ill health. For those unfamiliar with Zero, he has been a welcome presence – not just within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but in both the GPO Exchange Building and more recently, our courtrooms. As a court companion, he has helped provide support to vulnerable witnesses and victims. As an AGD staff member, Zero had become something of an unofficial mascot for AGD. His absence has been felt throughout the entire building.
On a more positive note, it was incredibly pleasing to welcome Dr Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM as the new Director of Forensic Science SA. Her work at both a state and national level in law enforcement will be a tremendous asset to the team. It’s also worth noting that she will be the first woman to lead Forensic Science SA in its history, which is significant in and of itself. She replaces Professor Chris Pearman, whose calm, authoritative presence will be missed as he enjoys replacing forensic pathology with the considerably less grisly world of retirement.
Looking ahead, there are still a number of reforms being progressed and considerable work to be done, including work on coercive control laws and other initiatives to address domestic violence, privacy laws, and consultation on a number of Planning Code amendments currently underway.
As always, none of this work would be possible without the efforts of the department’s Executive Management Group and their staff, and I thank them for their efforts over the past year, under circumstances that have sometimes been less than ideal. I am constantly struck by the level of support I receive across AGD. It continues to be an extraordinary privilege to be the Chief Executive of the Attorney-General’s Department and to work with the Attorney-General, the Honourable Vickie Chapman and her staff.
Our strategic focus
The 2018-21 Strategic Plan (PDF, 32.5 KB) was finalised prior to Planning and Local Government shifting to AGD. A new Strategic Plan will be developed in 2021-22.
Changes to the agency
During 2020-21, Planning and Land Use Services, the Office of the Registrar-General and the Office of the Valuer-General transferred to the Attorney-General’s Department from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.
The Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit (FERU) transferred from the Attorney-General’s Department to the Department of Treasury and Finance as of 1 July 2021.
The following areas of AGD submit their own annual reports:
* Commissioner for Victims’ Rights
* Commissioner for Equal Opportunity
* Director of Public Prosecutions
* Public Advocate
* Public Trustee
* Small Business Commissioner
* South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
* State Planning Commission
* State Records SA
Other agencies reporting to the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, the Hon Vickie Chapman MP, that submit their own annual report, are:
* Courts Administration Authority
* Electoral Commissioner
* Independent Commissioner Against Corruption
* Judicial Conduct Commissioner
* Legal Services Commission
* Local Government Grants Commission
* Outback Communities Authority
The Hon Vickie Chapman MP, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General is the state’s principal legal advisor to the government and is responsible for the administration of justice.
The Attorney-General is a member of Cabinet and is responsible for:
* specific legislation and the state's legal system
* developing and implementing policy
* legal action relevant to the state government.
On 29 July 2020, the Attorney-General also became responsible for the Planning and Local Government Ministerial Portfolio.
Mike Wait SC
Mike is the Solicitor-General which is a statutory officer appointed by the Governor under the Solicitor-General Act 1972. The Solicitor-General is the second law officer of the state. Acting on the instructions of the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General advises the state and appears as counsel on behalf of the state, including on behalf of the Crown Solicitor and the Director of Public Prosecutions, as required. Mike was appointed the Solicitor-General, commencing 3 August 2020.
Laura was appointed the Crown Solicitor, commencing 3 August 2020. The Crown Solicitor of South Australia is responsible for leading the Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO), which comprises the Public Law, Civil Litigation, Crown Counsel, Commercial, Environment & Native Title and Business Services sections. The CSO provides advice to, and represents, the South Australian Government on behalf of the Attorney-General. This includes providing legal services to Cabinet, Ministers and South Australian Government agencies on a wide variety of legal issues.
Laura was appointed a Supreme Court Justice commencing 6 September 2021.
Adam is the Executive Director for the Policy and Community division, which includes Justice Policy and Analytics and Strategic Communications, which provide advice and support to the Attorney-General and the broader department. The division also consists of the offices of the Ombudsman, Public Advocate, Public Trustee, the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, Small Business Commissioner and the Commissioner for Victims' Rights, which aim to protect the rights of the public.
Andrew is the Executive Director of the Finance, People and Performance division. He is the Chief Financial Officer and responsible for leading a range of functions including Financial Services, Human Resources, Facilities, Performance and Business Services and State Records SA. The division also includes the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).
Dini is the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs and Liquor and Gambling within Consumer and Business Services (CBS). CBS has a broad portfolio including consumer protection, product safety, occupational licensing, liquor licensing, gambling regulation, charities regulation, residential tenancies, births, deaths and marriages and Justice of the Peace services.
Joanna is the Executive Director of the Legal and Legislative Services division. The division includes Legislative Services, who provide legal and policy advice on legislative reform and Parliamentary Counsel, who provide legislative drafting services to members of South Australia's Parliament. The division also consists of the CSO, Forensic Science SA (FSSA), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), the Valuer-General (an independent statutory officer who maintains accountability and ownership over the valuation roll) and the Registrar-General (who provides oversight to the operations of the Land Titles Office by Land Services SA).
John is the Chief Recovery Officer and Director, Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit (Fines Unit). The Fines Unit is responsible for the enforcement and recovery of court fines, overdue expiation fees, debts owed to the Victims of Crime Fund and civil debt owed to state government agencies. In addition to the recovery of debts, the Fines Unit provides a range of non-financial options for individuals to resolve outstanding fines such as community service.
Dr Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM
Linzi is a forensic scientist who took up the position of Director, FSSA in February 2021. FSSA provides independent scientific and pathology services to the justice system of South Australia in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Pathology and Toxicology. FSSA collaborates closely with the tertiary sector, in particular the three local universities, to ensure it maintains a high quality and contemporary scientific service through research, training and teaching.
Mark is the Executive Director of the Projects and Technology division. He is responsible for leading Technology, Project Delivery, Public Safety and Information Management services. In addition to supporting the operations of the AGD, the division provides Public Safety and Justice Information services to more than twenty other Government agencies.
Martin Hinton QC
Martin is the Director of Public Prosecutions. He is a statutory officer, independent of the Attorney-General’s Department, who initiates and conducts criminal prosecutions in the Magistrates, District and Supreme courts of South Australia. The Director also initiates, and conducts appeals in the Full Court of South Australia and the High Court of South Australia. The Director oversees the operations of the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions (ODPP) comprising Trial Counsel, Solicitors (including Confiscations), and Business Services (including the Witness Assistance Service) to ensure the ODPP provides the people of South Australia with an independent and effective criminal prosecution service that is timely, efficient and just.
Nicolle is the Public Trustee and is responsible for the efficient management of the Public Trustee Office and the effective implementation of the Public Trustee Act 1995. The role encompasses acting as Administrator, Executor or Trustee of deceased estates, as Administrator of estates of protected persons under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993, as Manager of estates of protected persons under the Aged and Infirm Persons’ Property Act 1940 and as Attorney or Agent. The Public Trustee is also the Trustee for minors as a result of distributions in intestate estates administered by private administrators and by appointment as trustees for other trusts and Wills.
Sally is the Executive Director of Planning and Land Use Services and the Office for Local Government. The role is responsible for managing the planning and land use system for South Australia. This includes planning and development, architecture, design and land use to grow our economy and create more vibrant places for our communities.
Action for Breach of Promise of Marriage (Abolition) Act 1971
Acts Interpretation Act 1915
Adelaide Cemeteries Authority Act 2001
Adelaide Children's Hospital and Queen Victoria Hospital (Testamentary Dispositions) Act 1990
Adelaide Park Lands Act 2005
Adelaide Show Grounds (Regulations and By-Laws) Act 1929
Administration and Probate Act 1919
Administrative Arrangements Act 1994
Administrative Decisions (Effect of International Instruments) Act 1995
Age of Majority (Reduction) Act 1971
Aged and Infirm Persons' Property Act 1940
Aircraft Offences Act 1971
ANZ Executors and Trustee Company (South Australia) Limited (Transfer of Business) Act 1996
Architectural Practice Act 2009
Associations Incorporation Act 1985
Australia Acts (Request) Act 1985
Australian Crime Commission (South Australia) Act 2004
Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000
Bail Act 1985
Ballot Act 1862
Bills of Sale Act 1886
Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996
Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009
Building Work Contractors Act 1995
Burial and Cremation Act 2013
Business Names (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2012
Casino Act 1997
Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012
Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012
Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006
City of Adelaide Act 1998
Civil Liability Act 1936
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995
Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939
Commercial Arbitration Act 2011
Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act 2014
Commonwealth Legislative Power Act 1931*
Commonwealth Places (Administration of Laws) Act 1970
Commonwealth Powers (De Facto Relationships) Act 2009
Commonwealth Powers (Family Law) Act 1986
Community Titles Act 1996
Companies (Administration) Act 1982
Constitutional Powers (Coastal Waters) Act 1979
Conveyancers Act 1994
Co-operatives National Law (South Australia) Act 2013
Coroners Act 2003
Corporations (Administrative Actions) Act 2001
Corporations (Ancillary Provisions) Act 2001
Corporations (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2001
Corporations (South Australia) Act 1990
Courts Administration Act 1993
COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020
Credit (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2010
Credit (Transitional Arrangements) Act 2010
Criminal Assets Confiscation Act 2005
Criminal Investigation (Covert Operations) Act 2009
Criminal Investigation (Extraterritorial Offences) Act 1984
Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007
Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007
Criminal Law (High Risk Offenders) Act 2015
Criminal Law (Legal Representation) Act 2001
Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935
Criminal Procedure Act 1921
Cross-border Justice Act 2009
Crown Proceedings Act 1992
Da Costa Samaritan Fund (Incorporation of Trustees) Act 1953
Death (Definition) Act 1983
Debtors Act 1936
Defamation Act 2005
Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1991
District Court Act 1991
Domestic Partners Property Act 1996
Domicile Act 1980
Dust Diseases Act 2005
Election of Senators Act 1903
Electoral Act 1985
Electronic Conveyancing National Law (South Australia) Act 2013
Electronic Communications Act 2000
Encroachments Act 1944
Enforcement of Judgments Act 1991
Environment, Resources and Development Court Act 1993
Equal Opportunity Act 1984
Essential Services Act 1981
Estates Tail Act 1881 (The)
Evidence (Affidavits) Act 1928
Evidence Act 1929
Expiation of Offences Act 1996
Fair Trading Act 1987
Family Relationships Act 1975
Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018
Federal Courts (State Jurisdiction) Act 1999
Fences Act 1975
Financial Sector Reform (South Australia) Act 1999
Fines Enforcement and Debt Recovery Act 2017
Foreign Judgments Act 1971
Free Presbyterian Church (Vesting of Property) Act 2001
Freedom of Information Act 1991
Frustrated Contracts Act 1988
Gambling Administration Act 2019
Gaming Machines Act 1992
Geographical Names Act 1991
Graffiti Control Act 2001
Guardianship and Administration Act 1993
Guardianship of Infants Act 1940
Hairdressers Act 1988
Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012
Industrial Referral Agreements Act 1986
Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972
Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009
James Brown Memorial Trust Incorporation Act 1990
Judicial Administration (Auxiliary Appointments and Powers) Act 1988
Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act 2015
Juries Act 1927
Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-vesting) Act 1987
Justices of the Peace Act 2005
Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017
Land Acquisition Act 1969
Land Agents Act 1994
Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994
Land Valuers Act 1994
Landlord and Tenant Act 1936
Law of Property Act 1936
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence and Apportionment of Liability) Act 2001
Legal Practitioners Act 1981
Legal Services Commission Act 1977
Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002
Limitation of Actions Act 1936
Linear Parks Act 2006
Liquor Licensing Act 1997
Little Sisters of the Poor (Testamentary Dispositions) Act 1986
Lobbyists Act 2015
Local Government Act 1999
Local Government (Elections) Act 1999
Local Government (Implementation) Act 1999
Lottery and Gaming Act 1936
Magistrates Act 1983
Magistrates Court Act 1991
Marketable Securities Act 1971
Married Persons (Separate Legal Status) Act 2019
Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act 1983
Mercantile Law Act 1936
Minors Contracts (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1979
Misrepresentation Act 1972
National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2018
Native Title (South Australia) Act 1994
Notaries Public Act 2016
Oaths Act 1936
Off-shore Waters (Application of Laws) Act 1976
Ombudsman Act 1972
Outback Communities (Administration and Management) Act 2009
Parliamentary Committees Act 1991
Partnership Act 1891
Personal Property Securities (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2009
Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016
Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995
Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016
Powers of Attorney and Agency Act 1984
Prices Act 1948
Private Parking Areas Act 1986
Problem Gambling Family Protection Orders Act 2004
Professional Standards Act 2004
Prohibited Areas (Application of State Laws) Act 1952
Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018
Public Trustee Act 1995
Racial Vilification Act 1996
Real Property Act 1886
Real Property (Commonwealth Titles) Act 1924
Real Property (Foreign Governments) Act 1950
Real Property (Registration of Titles) Act 1945
Recreation Grounds (Regulations) Act 1931
Registration of Deeds Act 1935
Relationships Register Act 2016
Residential Parks Act 2007
Residential Tenancies Act 1995
Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995
Roads (Opening and Closing) Act 1991
Royal Commissions Act 1917
Royal Style and Titles Act 1973
RSL Memorial Hall Trust Act 1997*
Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention) Act 1986
Sale of Goods Act 1895
Sea-Carriage Documents Act 1998
Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995
Security and Investigation Industry Act 1995
Sentencing Act 2017
Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008
Serious and Organised Crime (Unexplained Wealth) Act 2009
Settled Estates Act 1880
Settled Estates Act Amendment Act 1889 (The)
Sheriff's Act 1978
Shop Theft (Alternative Enforcement) Act 2000
Small Business Commissioner Act 2011
Solicitor-General Act 1972
South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013
South Australian Local Government Grants Commission Act 1992
Spent Convictions Act 2009
St. John (Discharge of Trusts) Act 1997
State Records Act 1997
Stock Mortgages and Wool Liens Act 1924
Strata Titles Act 1988
Subordinate Legislation Act 1978
Summary Offences Act 1953
Supreme Court Act 1935
Surrogacy Act 2019
Surveillance Devices Act 2016
Survey Act 1992
Survival of Causes of Action Act 1940
Tattooing Industry Control Act 2015
Terrorism (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2002
Terrorism (Police Powers) Act 2005
Terrorism (Preventative Detention) Act 2005
Thomas Hutchinson Trust and related Trusts (Winding Up) Act 1995
Trustee Act 1936
Trustee Companies Act 1988
Unclaimed Goods Act 1987
Valuation of Land Act 1971
Victims of Crime Act 2001
Waite Trust (Miscellaneous Variations) Act 1996*
Warehouse Liens and Storage Act 1990
West Beach Recreation Reserve Act 1987
Wills Act 1936
Worker's Liens Act 1893
Young Offenders Act 1993
Youth Court Act 1993
* Denotes Act of limited application