The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:41):
My questions are to the Attorney-General regarding coastal management:
1. When can the Attorney-General provide some indication as to the expected time frame for a Government decision following completion of a scientific review of all options for sand management?
2. As he has indicated that this is his new responsibility, can he commit to this review as a priority?
3. When can the community expect to see tangible action to deliver on the options for sand management?
4. What has happened to the funding that was allocated for the West Beach pipeline?
The Hon. J.S. LEE (11:02): I rise today to speak on the South Australian Motor Sport (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2022 and indicate that I am the lead speaker for the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council for this Bill.
This Bill aims to re-establish the SA Motorsport Board to undertake promotion and management of motorsport events in South Australia and for the board to enter into agreements on behalf of the state.
I have a specific interest in this Bill, because it will have direct and indirect impact across all my Shadow Ministerial portfolios, including Tourism and Hospitality, Multicultural South Australia and Communities.
The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:22):
I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney-General a question regarding the age of criminal responsibility.
The Hon. J.S. LEE:
It was reported in InDaily on 10 May 2022 that the minister said he is, and I quote:
…open to raising the age of criminal responsibility.
The minister continued to say that he would, and I quote:
…continue to meet with stakeholders to determine whether South Australia should raise the criminal age, noting that doing so was something that we—
meaning the state government—
will be turning our mind to.
My questions to the Attorney are:
1. What stakeholders has the Attorney met with to discuss the issue?
2. Has the Attorney spoken to his ACT counterpart, Shane Rattenbury, about the approach that he has taken?
3. How far has the Attorney progressed in his consideration of raising the age of criminal responsibility?
The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:33):
My questions are to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs regarding Aboriginal affairs:
1. Does the minister agree that the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody provides a necessary and relevant document for sentencing judges to confront, discuss, analyse and evaluate and, if so, what action has the minister taken to ensure that occurs?
2. Is the minister aware of support given by the judiciary to the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody since 1991 and, with that, what actions has the minister taken to ensure that the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody is confronted, discussed, analysed and evaluated in the community itself?
3. If such actions have been taken by the minister, what feedback from the community has been received by the minister to date?
The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:45):
I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking questions of the Attorney-General regarding the operation of the Freedom of Information Act.
The Hon. J.S. LEE:
During the course of an external review of a freedom of information determination, the Ombudsman found that the Department for Environment and Water had refused the release of relevant documents that had been, wittingly or unwittingly, written in a manner that would exempt them from release. Although the Ombudsman agreed the documents should not be made public, he stated:
I consider that the breadth of the exemption contained in clause 1(1)(e) and the success at which the agency has woven a tenuous thread of a cabinet deliberation and decision through its internal discussions in order to attract the confidentiality of cabinet to sit at odds with the underlying principles of the FOI Act.
My questions to the Attorney-General are:
1. What action is the Attorney-General taking to ensure there is adequate compliance with the FOI Act that is congruent with the legislation's original intent to provide legitimate transparency?
2. Has the Attorney-General made efforts to review the current provisions of the FOI Act to decipher whether any amendments are necessary to avoid the potential evasion of public scrutiny?
The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:40):
I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs about the Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan.
The Hon. J.S. LEE:
The initiatives outlined in the South Australian government's Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan 2021-22 focus on delivering positive outcomes in areas of employment and business growth, improving the quality of government services and designing and implementing measures that will strengthen the capability of Aboriginal corporations and organisations. My questions to the minister are:
1. Will the minister make an official commitment to supporting the ongoing development of the Aboriginal Affairs Action Plan?
2. Will the minister commit to implementing the 41 initiatives outlined in the action plan, and when will the minister implement them?
3. Will the minister guarantee that state government agencies will continue to report to the government, and will he will commit to publishing the status updates on the Aboriginal Affairs website to maintain accountability?
The Hon. J.S. LEE (14:36):
I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development a question about the cost of living.
The Hon. J.S. LEE:
Nearly one in three Australians who are renting or borrowing say that they won't be able to afford escalating costs if the Reserve Bank continues to lift interest rates over the coming months. ANZ economists are predicting a steep rise in the cash rate to 2.5 per cent by the middle of next year. Such a rise would lead to an increase in repayments on a 30-year $500,000 loan by nearly a third, rising by $629 to $2,780 a month.
Both the Barossa and Yorke Peninsula have rental vacancies of 1 per cent or lower and there are reports of families in the Riverland and other regions resorting to staying at friends' houses or even in caravan parks as they are unable to secure private rental properties or can't afford to pay rent at all. My questions to the minister are:
1. What is the government's plan to find accommodation for vulnerable individuals and families living in the regions?
2. Can the minister explain what measures the government will put in place for regional families who are facing the prospect of defaulting on their loans or no longer being able to pay their rent?
The Hon. J.S. LEE (17:29): I move:
That this council—
1. Notes that Refugee Week will be celebrated across Australia from Sunday 19 June to Saturday 25 June 2022 and provides a platform to celebrate the positive social and economic contributions made by refugees to Australian society and create a culture of welcome;
2. Notes this year’s theme of 'healing' raises awareness of the experience of refugees and encourages mainstream and refugee communities to learn from each other to heal wounds and grow stronger as a connected society;
3. Congratulates the Australian Migrant Resource Centre for being the successful convener of SA Refugee Week since 2001 and for hosting the annual Youth Poster Awards Exhibition which features posters from primary, secondary, and tertiary students that celebrate the courage, resilience and contributions of people of refugee backgrounds; and
4. Commends the Marshall Liberal Government for standing in solidarity with the Afghan and Ukrainian communities in view of the humanitarian tragedies unfolding overseas, funding the Afghan Community Service Hub to support the South Australian Afghan community throughout the Afghanistan crisis and establishing the Eastern European Conflict Mental Health Support Line to address the urgent mental health needs of Ukrainian community members deeply affected by the invasion of Ukraine.
It is a great honour today to move this motion in my name to acknowledge the importance of Refugee Week in South Australia.
As the Shadow Minister for Multicultural South Australia and Communities, I am passionate about supporting the hard work and contributions that refugees make to our state. Australia is a proud multicultural country and a signatory to the refugees convention—the key international instrument that regulates the obligations of states to protect refugees fleeing from persecution.
The Hon. J.S. LEE (17:22): I move:
That this council—
1. Notes that SA Youth Week 2022 will be held over 10 days from Friday 13 May to Sunday 22 May 2022;
2. Recognises that there are over 266,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 24 years who live in South Australia;
3. Acknowledges the significant social, cultural and economic contributions that young people make to our state; and
4. Commends the Marshall Liberal government for developing the Strong Futures SA Youth Action Plan 2020-2022 to ensure that young people are engaged, active contributors, as well as creating opportunities for learning and growth so that they can reach their full potential.
It is a great honour to rise today to move this motion in my name to acknowledge the importance of SA Youth Week.
As the Shadow Minister for Communities and Multicultural South Australia I am passionate about supporting the hard work and dedication of our amazing youth. I wish to put on the public record the Liberal Party's commitment to support young people and youth organisations throughout South Australia.
The Hon. J.S. LEE (17:13): I move:
That this council—
1. Notes that Community Centre Week was celebrated in South Australia from Monday 9 May to Sunday 15 May 2022, coinciding with national Neighbourhood House Week;
2. Recognises the vital role that local community centres play in providing welcoming and inclusive spaces for social activities, support services, and personal development for people from all walks of life;
3. Acknowledges the contributions of all the staff and volunteers who are the heart of the 165 community centres located across South Australia;
4. Notes that this year’s theme is 'Building resilience by bringing people together', highlighting the importance of rebuilding strong social connections as we re-emerge from the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
5. Commends the Marshall Liberal government on implementing the new Community Connections Program to support socially isolated people to increase their independence and to build strong, sustainable social and community connections.
It is a great honour today to rise to move this motion to acknowledge the importance of Community Centre Week 2022. Community Centre Week is also known as National Neighbourhood House Week.
As the Shadow Minister for Communities and Multicultural South Australia, I would like to recognise the significant contributions that local community centres and community organisations make in South Australia. Community Centre Week is part of a nationwide initiative to celebrate and recognise community centres and the role they play in building social connection and community resilience.