Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Farmer Wellbeing

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO (14:52): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding farmer wellbeing.

Leave granted.

The Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO: The recently released National Farmer Wellbeing Report showed that 45 per cent of farmers have felt depressed, 64 per cent have experienced anxiety, and most alarmingly 30 per cent have attempted self-harm or suicide. My question to the minister is: as Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, how is her government investing in frontline services in rural communities to bring help closer to those in need?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:53): I thank the honourable member for her question. It certainly is a very important topic, and I think the sad statistics in regard to mental health in farming communities are probably fairly well known to most of us.

Obviously, in terms of direct mental health support, that comes under the scope of the Minister for Health in the other place. But in terms of support through my department and others, there are a number of projects that PIRSA lends its support to, either directly or indirectly, and that includes such things as the Family and Business Mentors; working with other organisations such as Rural Business Support, an organisation that was mentioned earlier in this question time; and bodies such as Primary Producers SA. We have been having discussions around this topic in various ways since coming into government and I will continue to support programs and initiatives that might assist.