The Latest News & Speeches


14 June, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (17:54): I move:

That this council—

1. Notes that Refugee Week will be celebrated across Australia from Sunday 18 June to Saturday 24 June 2023 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 is 'Finding Freedom' which asks us what it means to be free and to reflect on the dangerous journeys that refugees around the world undertake to find safety and freedom in a new home;

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. Commits to promoting harmony and inclusion in our community and recognises that diversity, multiculturalism and interculturalism are our greatest strengths.


07 March, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:46): 

My questions are directed to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs:

1. Can the minister inform the council how often does he meet with the Minister for Child Protection to develop specific strategies to address the urgent issues for Aboriginal children in care?

2. Can the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs explain how often and when was the last time he has attended a cross-agency briefing on early intervention in child protection areas, specifically for Aboriginal children?

Question: AUTISM SA

23 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:35): 

My question is to the parliamentary secretary to the Premier on Autism SA. After taking a question on notice, can the parliamentary secretary now please advise the chamber of any changes at all to the funding given to autism since the change of government in 2022?


22 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:43): 

I rise today to ask the people of South Australia to question the Malinauskas Labor government about their priorities. Before the last election, Peter Malinauskas promised to fix ramping as a top priority, but sadly, under this Labor government, our health system is rapidly deteriorating. It is very disappointing that Premier Malinauskas' priorities are all wrong.

Earlier this week, it was reported that nine people waited more than 24 hours for a hospital bed and 16 waited over 12 hours for a bed, trapped in hospital emergency departments. We repeatedly asked Labor ministers in this place and the other place questions regarding the health crisis in this state. We were ignored and we received no answers. South Australians who are sick and need urgent medical help are suffering the impacts of record ramping and chronic emergency department overcrowding.

Please allow me to take you back to earlier this month, on 2 February. Data showed that 20 patients waited more than 12 hours for a bed and some more than 24 hours. When vulnerable patients' lives were at risk and in need of urgent health treatment, where was Premier Peter Malinauskas on that day? Sadly, he was not in South Australia. He was on Bondi Beach, running shoulder to shoulder with New South Wales Labor opposition leader. A picture of the pair running, stamped with the Baywatch logo, was posted by New South Wales Labor on Twitter. It was the clearest sign that Peter Malinauskas had the wrong priorities.

For the public record, on Peter Malinauskas' watch ramping has soared 135 per cent to record levels. The health crisis has never been worse. Our hospital system continues to struggle under record ramping and emergency department overcrowding, with South Australian families paying the price.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (South Australia) estimated that by the year 2025 South Australia alone would be short by 10,000 to 15,000 nurses and midwives. To address this problem the Liberal Party is calling on the Malinauskas Labor government to make it easier for South Australians who wish to re-enter nursing to gain the required qualifications. Former nurses have raised concerns with the Liberal opposition over the difficulties and obstacles they are currently facing for them to regain their nursing registration. Many nurses who have been out of practice for five years or more are required to complete a Nursing and Midwifery Board-approved re-entry to practice program.

For registered nurses these programs are offered at the Australian College of Nursing in New South Wales, the Central Queensland University, La Trobe University in Victoria and Western Australia's University of Notre Dame. Students at ACN, CQU and Notre Dame must relocate interstate for at least part of their studies. La Trobe offers a more flexible online program; however, a fee of $8,250 must be paid up-front, with no subsidies or FEE-HELP loan scheme in place.

There are so many barriers for former nurses wanting to re-enter the profession in South Australia. Former nurses who came forward to speak with the Liberal opposition indicated that they are keen to get back to work, reducing the pressures on our health system, but they simply cannot afford the costs involved or spend time interstate to get the qualifications they need.

The Leader of the Opposition, David Speirs, member for Black, together with the shadow minister for health, Ashton Hurn, member for Schubert, are calling on Premier Peter Malinauskas to step up and work with his federal colleagues to make sure that re-entry pathways for nurses are more accessible for South Australians. We need the Labor government to explore every avenue to remove barriers for nurses wanting to re-enter the workforce.

The current barriers for entry for nurses based in South Australia mean that many are simply giving up on the profession. The Malinauskas Labor government must take responsibility and address these issues. The Liberal Party is urging the Labor government to be more proactive in gaining and retaining nurses in South Australia.


22 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (16:43): 

I move:

That this council—

1. Acknowledges that Harmony Week is celebrated from 21 March to 27 March 2023, beginning with Harmony Day on 21 March;

2. Notes that Harmony Day has been celebrated in Australia since 1999 and expanded to Harmony Week in 2019;

3. Recognises the rich cultural, linguistic, racial and religious diversity of our South Australian community, and acknowledges that migrants and their descendants contribute to all aspects of our economy and society; and

4. Celebrates the success of multiculturalism and interculturalism in South Australia and encourages all community members to come together to show their support for cultural diversity and inclusion.


22 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:40): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs about Aboriginal children.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: 

The Kate Alexander report called Trust in Culture, a review of child protection in South Australia, was released last year. The review was an investigation into deaths of children in care of family or the state. In her report, she states that seven of the eight children whose tragic deaths are at the centre of this review were identified as Aboriginal. There has been a 116.3 per cent increase of Aboriginal children in care in South Australia over the last decade and the number is trending up. Unfortunately, only half of those children are placed with family or kin.

South Australia also has the highest rate of Aboriginal children on long-term guardianship orders and the lowest rate of reunification for Aboriginal children compared with other Australian states and territories. My questions to the minister are:

1. As the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, what action has he undertaken to ensure that long-term guardianship orders decrease for Aboriginal children?

2. Can the minister explain what actions have been undertaken by the government to improve the rates of reunification for Aboriginal children with their families?

3. Can the minister indicate which recommendations in that report will the government implement, particularly in relation to the specific focus required for Aboriginal children?

Question: Public Holidays

21 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:42): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Industrial Relations regarding public holidays.

Leave granted.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Wortley! Continue, please, deputy.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: 

The SDA launched their campaign on Sunday to have Easter Sunday declared as an additional public holiday. They are urging the Malinauskas government to use declaration powers rather than waiting for legislation to make Easter Sunday a public holiday in 2023. My questions for the minister are:

1. The government has ruled out this year, but the business community would like to know whether the minister will rule it out for future years.

2. If the Labor government makes Easter Sunday a public holiday in the future, will the government—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Girolamo and the Hon. Mr Wortley!

The Hon. J.S. LEE:

 —remove the Easter Monday public holiday or another public holiday to ensure that businesses do not suffer and, if so, which public holiday will the minister remove?

3. Will the minister please provide some clarity to the community on this matter?


09 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:55): 

I seek leave to provide a brief explanation before asking a question of the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for the Environment, on beach management. The minister in the other house has declared a conflict of interest and has delegated this responsibility to the Attorney-General.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: 

The panel tasked to review the sand management at West Beach, Henley South and Henley has released its terms of reference. Those terms of reference are:

The review will address the following matters:

1. How to manage sand on Adelaide's beaches achieve the follow goals. The priorities are:

(i) Minimise disruption for all communities;

(ii) Avoid environmental harm; and

(iii) Maximise sand staying on beaches.

Question: Sam Smith Concert

08 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:44): My question is to the Leader of the Government about government accountability. Can the Leader of the Government inform the council whether he was invited to the taxpayer-funded Sam Smith concert held on 11 January and, if not, why doesn't the Premier consider the Leader of the Government in this very important place an influencer of this state?


08 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:52): It is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak about community education, more specifically I would like to highlight a fantastic initiative by this parliament to support community education about our important democratic system.

Today, I want to give a big shout-out to acknowledge our Community Education Office right here in Parliament House. Natalie and Edgar are doing such amazing work providing resources, designing education programs and hosting special events to help members of parliament to engage with students and members of the public about how our parliamentary system works and how decisions made in this place impact on the lives of everyday South Australians.