Legislative Council: Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Youth Crime

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:01): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs regarding youth crime in Port Augusta.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: There have been some concerns that have been publicised regarding youth crime and antisocial behaviour associated with the Davenport community in recent weeks. In reference to the level of state government assistance for young people to prevent crime in the area, the Davenport Community Council's acting chief executive, Lavene Ngatokoura, has stated, and I quote:

We have been forgotten. We're in the too-hard basket. We need support.

Ms Ngatokoura further explained that the Aboriginal Lands Trust had allegedly prevented the council from operating youth programs in the community, which had consequently left minors roaming the streets in gangs at night, committing offences. My question to the minister is: has he met with the Davenport Community Council's acting chief executive or any other representative from the Davenport Community Council in relation to their concerns with this increase in crime?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:03): I thank the honourable member for her question. I have certainly had a number of meetings with representatives of the Davenport Community Council. Late last year I met on country; I was out at Davenport but I also met, in Port Augusta, Lavene, who has been a long-time member of the Davenport Community Council and the chair of the community council from time to time.

Issues to do with youth programs were certainly something that have been raised with Lavene from time to time. I was very fortunate that one of the meetings occurred not just with myself but with Lavene Ngatokoura and also the Hon. Nat Cook, who is the Minister for Human Services. The Department of Human Services is the agency that is coordinating a whole range of work to provide better and more coordinated services to the people of Port Augusta generally. So, yes, I have met with representatives of the Davenport Community Council, including late last year with the Minister for Human Services, whose department is coordinating work in this area.