Legislative Council: Tuesday, June 27, 2023


Remote Visitors

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:46): I seek leave before directing a series of questions to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on the subject of the multiagency response for remote visitors.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.J. Maher interjecting:

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The multiagency response for remote visitors. My questions for the minister are:

1. Can the minister advise how often he is briefed about the DHS-led multiagency response for remote visitors in Adelaide and regional South Australia?

2. What is the minister's understanding of the primary purpose of the response?

3. Does the minister understand DHS to be seeking to support remote visitors to return to country?

4. Has the minister met with the police commissioner regarding SAPOL's calls for more police powers?

5. What consultation has the minister undertaken with Aboriginal elders in relation to the response within the CBD?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:47): I thank the honourable member for her questions. I will answer the last one first. In relation to having met with the police commissioner on matters that the honourable member has referred to, I have not met with the police commissioner on those matters. In relation to the response, the Department of Human Services is leading the response, I think, as they have in the past as well when the honourable member was the minister responsible for the Department of Human Services.

I am trying to think of the last time that I have had an update and I think it was an in-depth discussion with Minister Nat Cook, the member for Hurtle Vale. I reckon it was on budget day, so that would have been the last sitting week. That was the last time I had an in-depth discussion with the minister about some of the steps that her agency are looking to take, and have undertaken.

The ability to provide services to return home to communities or to country, I understand there is a—and I can't remember now whether it is called Return to Country or Return to Community; I know there had been some discussion about what is the most appropriate terminology that Aboriginal people from north of Adelaide would like the service to be referred to as, but that is a service I understand has been around for some time and continues to provide that service.