Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 13, 2023


APY Lands

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:52): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs regarding a facility on the APY lands.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The government recently announced a multiagency facility on the APY lands to improve community safety with a range of key agencies. I understand there is close to $14 million of funding between the commonwealth and state governments. My questions are:

1. Can the minister advise which agencies are anticipated to be located there?

2. Which location is it to be at?

3. Is this model of a multiagency to be expanded into other locations?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:53): I thank the honourable member for her question. When I was answering a question from the opposition yesterday, I talked about having visited the Pukatja tuberculosis clinic. On the same visit in early August to the APY lands, I was actually able to not just visit but help open the new multiagency facility in Umuwa. As the honourable member points out, it is a facility that is shared by a number of different areas of government.

I think this facility has been talked about for at least a decade, from my memory, and probably spans three different governments in terms of its planning and the ambition for a facility. Certainly and principally, SA Police and Child Protection are two of the major agencies that are already in the facility and will use the facility. In relation to its location, the facility is based at Umuwa. I am not aware of any plans to expand these multiagency facilities out into other communities across the APY lands or elsewhere.

I know one of the reasons for the location in Umuwa is not just the central location in terms of Umuwa being in the middle of the APY lands and can then serve communities to the western side like Amata and Pipalyatjara and then to the eastern side like Mimili, Indulkana and Pukatja, but Umuwa is an administrative centre for the APY lands, and there were sound reasons why such a facility would not be located in one of the major communities. That's particularly for families who don't wish to be seen to be going into such a facility in one of the major communities, and so it is placed in an area that has a greater concentration of people performing administrative functions residing.

For those reasons—and again, spanning three governments in its planning—it's located in Umuwa. I am not aware of any plans to replicate that in other communities, but if it's successful and those sorts of problems that can occur of people not wishing to be seen to go into these facilities are overcome, there is no reason it can't be looked at in the future.