Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 06, 2022


Port Lincoln Hospital Security

The Hon. S.L. GAME (15:34): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Attorney-General representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing on security at Port Lincoln hospital.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: I have been contacted by Port Lincoln residents who have expressed great safety concerns for patients, nurses, doctors and medical staff at the local hospital, following a long-term and ongoing spate of Code Black security incidents. It has been reported that more than 90 Code Black incidents were called between 2016 and 2021 at Port Lincoln hospital, with incidents tripling in the two years from 2020 to 2021.

It is widely believed that Code Black security incidents remain under-reported. There was a horrific incident just over three years ago, with a registered nurse attacked by a teenage boxer at Port Lincoln hospital, resulting in shocking physical and mental injuries, including PTSD. Following a similar surge of assaults and safety incidents at the Port Augusta and Whyalla hospitals last year, 24/7 security guards were posted at those regional hospitals.

We have heard from the minister in the other place about a commitment to undertake a wholesale review of security arrangements at the Port Lincoln hospital. Staff and patients are experiencing fear; they have waited long enough. My question to the Attorney-General representing the minister is: when will appropriate security be instated at Port Lincoln hospital?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:35): I thank the honourable member for her question and her interest in this area and many areas affecting regional and rural South Australia, which she often asks about. I will refer the question to the Minister for Health and bring back a reply.