Page 4816                                                                                             HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY                                                                              Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:27): My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Human Services. Can the minister advise the house how regional South Australia, in particular Port Pirie, will benefit from the government’s social housing plan? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain further.

Leave granted.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: It has been brought to my attention that there are in excess of 250 people in Port Pirie and the close surrounding areas seeking emergency housing from the various NGOs operating around the area. With some of those people involved in many instances escaping from domestic violence, when they can’t get emergency housing or anything like that they are returning to the perpetrator.

The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN (Bragg—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Planning and Local Government) (15:28): I thank the member for the question and I will certainly take on notice the detail specifically in relation to direct benefits to residents of Port Pirie, but we are very proud of a number of initiatives. One is the provision of something like 40-odd extra emergency houses, and a large number of those, from my recollection, were in regional areas, but again I will follow through with that. Currently, the government is building some 1,000 dwellings for the purpose of access to affordable accommodation.

All these things are critical in dealing with providing people with both emergency and permanent accommodation. Of course, during COVID we have had an active program in being able to provide accommodation for those who are street homeless to make sure that they had protection within the envelope of both trying to secure their own health and obviously in providing them with accommodation.

Some have been able to be transferred to more permanent accommodation. Some, of course, elect not to take up those placements. If one has an understanding of the profile of some of the extra needs of those who are homeless, sometimes that is difficult to be able to predict. Certainly it is not to impose on them an obligation for accommodation that’s offered. There has to be some avenue of choice there. I will make the inquiry with the minister and get back to the member in relation to that.