The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (15:08): Given reports in today's Advertiser that the Reverend Sandy Boyce from the Pilgrim church in Adelaide is not opening doors to young people and giving them sanctuary during the winter months, has the Code Blue initiative moved from being a government safety initiative to a Liberal, ideological, open market approach to homelessness? Has the minister spoken to Anne Moran about opening up the Adelaide Town Hall to those living rough on Adelaide streets?
The PRESIDENT: We would all like to hear the answer, Leader of the Opposition. So, minister.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:09): I thank the honourable member for her question, although I reject much of what was commentary, which I think is entirely inappropriate and inaccurate. I have not spoken to Councillor Moran in relation to the particular homelessness services that are provided. I remind members of what it actually means. When we call a Code Blue, we already have additional street-to-home services, which are run by Neami with increased staffing levels. Trace-a-Place, which is the Services to Youth Council, normally operates from 9 to 5, but extended its service by two hours to 7pm. The Hutt Street Centre has regular operating hours. In particular, its day centre, which generally operates from 7am to 1pm, extends that to 5pm and also assists people to be transported to Baptist WestCare Centre for the overnight comfort.
As I have said previously in this place, we want to see people permanently housed. It is always a risk for people to be sleeping rough; it is a risk to their health in the short term and the long term and a short-term risk to their safety. We have been very successful, particularly with our partnership through the Adelaide Zero Project and the Don Dunstan Foundation, in permanently providing 161 rough sleepers with a place to sleep.
That is our preference, and that is more than took place under the previous government, because we work in partnership with service providers. We do not tell them what to do from on high, calling particular things because the minister of the day believes she is an oracle and she is potentially concerned about particular criticism from stakeholders, so she thinks we had better call one of these things, otherwise people will complain about us.
That is not the approach that we take; we are adults in the Liberal Party, and we work with the agencies, we take their advice, we respect their advice and our focus is on permanently providing housing for people, rather than Labor's approach, which was to sell off thousands and thousands of Housing Trust properties, which would be quite handy to have right now: we would be able to provide homes permanently, with services for some of our most vulnerable citizens.