The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:19): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking
the Leader of the Government, representing the Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, a
question regarding support for people affected by the Pinery bushfires.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: On two recent occasions I visited a number of localities in the
Adelaide Plains and Lower North that were severely impacted by the terrible fire that started at Pinery
on 25 November this year. I saw firsthand the incredible resilience and determination of local
residents, in the face of the tremendous destruction, and the community's commitment to the
recovery efforts that have started, even in the area of mitigating soil erosion.
Again, I express my personal gratitude to all those volunteer firefighters from South Australia
and elsewhere, and other personnel who have assisted during and after the fires. Also, I pay tribute
to the doctors and other medical staff at the Gawler Health Service, who worked around the clock for
several days treating many of the people that had been impacted in the fires. Many in this chamber
would have seen in the media recently the disgraceful instances of looting in and around the
properties affected by the Pinery fire.
The hardships these communities are facing are bad enough, without the despicable acts
that others have decided to engage in. These issues just add to the challenges that those affected
by the terrible fires are facing. As members here would know, troubling times such as that can often
have significant effects on the mental well-being of those affected, and support for those in need is
critical to enable communities to recover. My questions are:
1. What emotional support, mental health and suicide prevention services will the
government offer to those affected directly by the Pinery bushfires?
2. What emotional support, mental health and suicide prevention services will the
government offer to those personnel who worked during these terrible fires, both in paid employment
and as volunteers?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister
for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for
Business Services and Consumers) (15:22): I thank the honourable member for his questions
and will refer them to the minister in another place and bring back a response.