MATES IN CONSTRUCTION

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(14:46:15): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, representing the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, a question regarding Mates in Construction.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: MATES in Construction is an award-winning suicide awareness and prevention program that has been launched in the South Australian construction industry. It was established as a not-for-profit organisation in Queensland in 2008 to address the high suicide rate in the construction industry.

Mates in Construction was brought to South Australia through the drive and commitment of a number of union and industry bodies and receives funding from the Building Industry Redundancy Trust and the commonwealth government. Since its introduction to South Australia, the organisation has:

supported and case managed 154 construction workers;

provided 1,734 construction workers and safety staff with a one-hour general awareness training course;

provided 215 construction workers and safety staff with a four-hour connector training course;

provided 23 construction workers and safety staff with a two-day applied suicide intervention skills training course;

presented training at 40 South Australian building sites; and

continued to respond to crisis calls from South Australian construction workers.

Mates in Construction is also currently in consultation with a further 14 sites with a view to providing further training. The organisation does not charge fees for any of its services and offers a very important service to members of the construction industry. My questions are:

1.What involvement has the minister's office or his department had with Mates in Construction in its efforts to lower the suicide rate in the construction industry?

2.Will the minister commit to further engaging with Mates in Construction to assist in its mission to support the mental health of South Australian construction workers who are two times more likely to complete suicide than the average male, and up to six times more likely to die from suicide than from an accident at work?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER(Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)(14:48:36): I thank the honourable member for his very important question, and I would like to acknowledge his ongoing interest in this very important policy area. I will take this question to the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the other place and seek a response on his behalf.