Thursday, 14 October 2021                         HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY                                    Page 7896/7897

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:20): My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Human Services. Minister, why are vulnerable people, including victims of family violence in fear of their safety, being placed in unsuitable, substandard and unsafe emergency accommodation in a caravan park? Also, what is being done to ensure that victims of violence are safe from perpetrators and not being placed at further risk in this sort of accommodation? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain further.

Leave granted.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I have received a very lengthy email, plus I have had several women come into my office in the last three to four months who have found themselves requiring emergency accommodation due to fleeing domestic violence. These people have always outlined a number of concerns around the condition of the caravan park, the breach of confidentiality and antisocial behaviour, as well as violence and drug use.

I have been advised that the toilet doors of the caravan park don’t always have working locks and you need to put your foot against the door when using these facilities which is creating uncertainty, risk and fear amongst these people fleeing family violence. I have had three or four who said they will go back to their own homes to live with the perpetrator. Again, I am looking for some guidance from the minister.

The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN (Bragg—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Planning and Local Government) (15:21): Certainly, the member has raised a most concerning scenario. I am assuming from the question that it’s somewhere in Port Pirie, the caravan park. Is that the case? Yes. It’s not satisfactory anywhere if people are, of course, in fear for their life and being sent to accommodation—

The Hon. G.G. Brock: In close proximity.

The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN: —that’s not secure. I understand. I am certainly happy to have a look into it, as to how this is occurring. Certainly if there is a facility—and I am aware there are domestic violence facilities within the precinct of Port Pirie—and they are full or unable to be colocated with someone, there may be some COVID restrictions. I don’t know the answer to that. I am happy to get the information and make that inquiry.

I certainly haven’t been informed of any concern raised about that. I don’t know how long ago this occurred, but the Premier and I and others on this side of the house were actually in Port Pirie only a few weeks ago, and what issue had been raised with us was in relation to future accommodation generally for the population. There hadn’t been any issue raised by members of that constituency as to domestic violence facilities. That they are going to facilities that on the face of it are insecure—that is, they can’t be protected against an alleged perpetrator or partner or the like—is certainly concerning, so certainly I will be happy to follow that up. If the member is happy to provide me with the details of that, I am more than happy to follow it up.

The member also raised yesterday a question of a female constituent of Greek background who was having concerns with the Public Trustee. I have perused the correspondence that I did send to the member in a letter of 15 September which outlined the proposed offer of the Public Trustee, if she wished to pursue it in relation to translation of her bank statements, that they would provide that advice to her.

Obviously, there is a cost element to that. I think you, member for Frome, have asked to have copies of that material as well. I understand my office has concluded in providing that. If you haven’t received it yet, I could follow that up as well. But certainly, that correspondence was being collated. I think there were something like 146 documents you wanted, and that has been offered to be provided.

If somebody wants to have it translated into another language, I confirm what I said yesterday. It is important that services be introduced to the applicant. This particular person has apparently some of her funds with the Public Trustee. She has capacity and she can give instructions, as the member well knows. They are happy to assist in relation to translating services or interpreting services, depending on which service you would like to take, but there will obviously be fees associated with that, as with any other translation costs.

In reply to the Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14 October 2021).

The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN (Bragg—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Planning and Local Government): The Minister for Human Services has provided the following advice:

While the caravan park in question is not a member of the SA Housing Authority Emergency Accommodation Panel, due to a lack of providers in this region, Uniting Country SA (UCSA) have confirmed the caravan park is sometimes used for emergency accommodation and longer term accommodation only as a last resort, i.e., if all other motels/caravan parks in the area are full. The caravan park is primarily used for clients who are homeless and not those experiencing domestic and family violence.

UCSA encourages their clients to notify them should they feel uncomfortable at the caravan park and will endeavour to move them as soon as another emergency accommodation becomes available.