Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:39): My question is to the Minister for Human Services. What emergency measures does the government have in place to support residents living within the river corridor who may have to evacuate their homes due to the rising river conditions and the significant power disconnections?
The Hon. N.F. COOK (Hurtle Vale—Minister for Human Services) (14:39): Are you asking in relation to all residents or particularly in relation to public housing residents?
Mr WHETSTONE: Minister, I will re-ask the question. What emergency measures does the government have in place to support residents living within the river corridor who may have to evacuate their homes due to the rising river conditions and power disconnections?
The Hon. N.F. COOK: Thanks very much for the question. We spoke directly last week, member, and, as stated then, we already have an emergency centre set up in the Riverland. SAHA plays a broader role than just a role with public housing, obviously, in an emergency situation. We have some senior members of our department based up there, and they were very pleased to be visited last week by the Premier and the Deputy Premier, and I believe the police minister was up there as well.
Yesterday, again another senior officer went to visit the team up in the Riverland. They are ensuring that they know where people are currently living in relation to predicted flood plains. They are reaching out to people, providing them with offers to move immediately to somewhere that is safer and also making sure people know contact details, in terms of being able to reach out in the future if they choose to stay where they are at the moment. The department attends the state emergency centre, coordinates, as well, relief as needed and also is part of the Riverland zone emergency support team.
Housing SA have reached out to people, identified places for people to go and left information with people, in terms of where they can reach out to in the future. They also have spoken with local volunteer agencies and groups, such as Lions and Rotary. They have identified hotels and motels that can be used as evacuation points. Of course, everyone is extremely concerned about the imminent floods and have been working as hard as they can to ensure that there are places of safety and that everybody knows where they are, how to contact them and how to seek assistance.
Also, we know there are people sleeping rough in and around the towns in the Riverland. There has been assertive outreach undertaken already. That's been going on for a number of weeks now—I believe you are aware of that—and people understand the risk of remaining where they are, and we are ensuring they have got every opportunity to leave that place and go to a place of safety.