Legislative Council: Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Davenport Community

The Hon. L.A. HENDERSON (15:15): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney-General a question regarding the Davenport community.

Leave granted.

The Hon. L.A. HENDERSON: On 19 March, The Advertiserreported that community members in Davenport, a settlement on the northern fringe of Port Augusta, have criticised the state government's lack of support for young people in the community, who roam the streets in large gangs on any given night committing crimes. In Davenport the community centre lies derelict and vandalised after several break-ins and fires, with overgrown weeds and rubbish covering the playground. My questions to the minister are:

1. What steps has the government taken to address the concerns of community members in Davenport?

2. How does the government plan to address the issues of gangs of young people roaming the streets at night?

3. What resources have the government allocated to repair and restore the vandalised and neglected community centre in Davenport?

4. How does the government plan to work with local leaders and organisations to address the underlying social and economic issues that may be contributing to crime and violence in Davenport and other areas?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:17): I thank the honourable member for her question. There have been very similar questions asked this week, and in recent times, in this place about Port Augusta and the Davenport community in particular.

I know I have answered previously that there is a project underway that is led by the Department of Human Services as a coordinating agency looking at whole-of-government solutions to some of the issues that people face—not just in Davenport but Port Augusta more broadly—looking at services that are already provided to that community to look at how they can be integrated in the best way possible, and what other services may be needed.

In relation to the Davenport community specifically, and Davenport facilities, I note that there has been a manager appointed by the Aboriginal Lands Trust into the Davenport community, and I will certainly refer those to the Aboriginal Lands Trust to see if there are further answers that can be provided about facilities actually on the community.

The Davenport community, like a number of other Aboriginal communities around South Australia that are often former mission sites—the Davenport community was the former site of the Umeewarra Mission on the outskirts of Port Augusta—are under the auspices of the Aboriginal Lands Trust. The Aboriginal Lands Trust was, I think, the first Aboriginal land rights legislation ever created in Australia in 1966, and part of the estate of the Aboriginal Lands Trust is the Davenport community. I will see if there are further answers that can be brought back about the specific infrastructure that the honourable member is referring to.