Legislative Council: Wednesday, February 07, 2024


South Australian Housing Authority

The Hon. S.L. GAME (15:21): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Primary Industries, representing the Minister for Human Services, about the South Australian Housing Authority.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: I have been reliably informed that there are up to eight South Australian Housing Authority homes currently unoccupied on Kangaroo Island at a time of high demand. My office has been contacted by a constituent living on Kangaroo Island who has a family member currently living in inappropriate caravan park accommodation facilitated through Junction.

The family member is suffering from a mental health condition that is exacerbated by the current circumstances relating to this accommodation. Despite being classed as category 1 for public housing, more suitable accommodation has not been provided, notwithstanding these homes lying dormant. My questions to the minister are:

1. Why are these public houses unoccupied in the middle of a housing crisis?

2. How is it appropriate for a client of Junction to be placed in accommodation that is having a detrimental effect on a diagnosed mental health condition?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:23): I thank the honourable member for her question. Whilst I will refer the specifics of her question to the minister in the other place who has ministerial responsibility, I do know that questions about vacant Housing Authority houses in other regions have certainly been raised.

It is just worth pointing out that there can be a range of reasons as to why a home may be vacant or appear to be vacant, including such things as requiring to have work done on it to make it of a suitable standard, and we are all aware, I think, of the difficulties in getting trades and skilled labour available to do the work, particularly given, of course, there is a lot of ongoing work on Kangaroo Island following the devastating fires of a couple years ago.

Similarly, it may be that a tenant is ill and away due to ill health, perhaps undergoing medical treatment for an extended period or rehabilitation. All sorts of reasons may result in a property not appearing to be occupied. However, as I mentioned, I will refer to the minister in the other place.