The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:34): My question is directed to the Minister for Human Services. Will the minister indicate ways in which South Australians, particularly those who are vulnerable and/or isolated, can prepare for periods of extreme hot weather?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:34): I thank the honourable member for his question and for his interest in this area. As we know, we are starting to experience an increase in the temperatures, which is welcomed by many, but a number of vulnerable people need to take care by drinking water, staying cool and so forth. As a state government, we are urging all vulnerable South Australians to register with a potentially life-saving free phone service to provide checks at regular intervals during hot weather.
I was very pleased to attend a home with one of the registered people with the Red Cross Telecross REDi service. This lady has been a client of the Red Cross Telecross service since 2010. This is a service where trained Red Cross volunteers contact vulnerable members of the community. They can sometimes call up to three times a day and check on them and encourage them to take measures that will assist them. It could literally be a life saver for people in our community. In talking to the manager of the Red Cross today, he advised that it has been reported back to them that the Ambulance Service has sometimes attended and said that it has literally made the difference between people potentially living and dying.
These are people who live alone with a disability or mental illness, who don't have family to check on them personally. They may be housebound, frail, aged, or recovering from an illness or an accident. Vulnerable people, or their representative, can register by phoning 1800 188 071 or (08) 8100 4510, or they can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are some 700 people who are currently registered with that service. We expect those numbers to increase over summer. It is a very valuable service. We particularly thank the volunteers and the Red Cross for administering this very important service to people in South Australia.