Wednesday, 27 October 2021                    HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY                                    Page 8083/8304


The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14:26): I have a supplementary question. Minister, I welcome the $2½ million. It’s a bit strange that that wasn’t offered previously. However, one of the questions I need to understand is—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: —with the sealing of the rooms, etc., which is terrific, are you looking at assisting those households with watering their lawns and gardens to actually reduce the lead even further?

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining)

(14:26): Thank you very much for that question. Yes, I agree with the member for Frome that it’s a terrible shame that these sorts of programs were not offered previously. It is absolutely shameful that the previous government and the TLAP program that the previous government, including the member Frome, instituted did not do those things. With regard to outdoor areas, yes, absolutely we are doing it.  I am very pleased to have some more time to explain some of the other things that we are doing.

For example, on Friday last week I visited a house in Port Pirie with a fantastic young family. This program provided a brand-new pergola over the backdoor play area immediately outside the back of that house. We had new artificial turf on the ground immediately outside the house so that there wouldn’t be dust coming up from what was previously essentially a dust and weed sort of garden according to the person who lived there.

That artificial turf has been extended outside the pergola area so that there is a very large play area for the people who live in this house and, importantly, the young boy who lives in this house to be able to use. The front garden and the rest of the back garden have been completely refurbished, with a top layer of dust and weeds taken away and gravel put down so that less and less dust is able to come up and get into the air around the house and, importantly, not get into the house.

One of the very important things that we are doing with this project is that every one of the 43 houses gets its own tailored upgrade. This is not a cookie-cutter approach. Every single house gets looked at: what would be best for this house, what would be best for that house. For example, I mentioned the replacement of carpet with linoleum. This particular house did not have carpet, so we didn’t replace it as it already had linoleum. But what was evident was that the area where the child and the mother played outside the back door was a real risk site, so we changed that for them.

In another house it might well be gardening, watering and greening in the front or back garden. This particular home had quite a significant array of pot plants in the undercover pergola area near the back door, so that was already being taken care of. But in another house it might well be that  reticulation, watering and greening—exactly the types of things that the member for Frome is clearly disappointed were not achieved when the previous government had the opportunity to do ll these things. We are doing these things.

Let me be very clear: there is also more to come. We have more good news to come on this program. I am very pleased that those opposite are listening to this information, that they are not interrupting, because this is some of the most important work that we could be doing. It would not matter whether it were in the CBD of Adelaide, in suburban Adelaide, in Port Lincoln, in Mount Gambier, in Port Pirie or Oodnadatta: this is some of the most important work that any government could be doing on behalf of families and young people.

We know that Port Pirie and the surrounding region is an absolutely outstanding part of our state—fantastic people, a fantastic regional centre, fantastic tourism opportunities, a fantastic surrounding regional agricultural area—and we are determined, absolutely determined, that this important part of our state gets every opportunity to break away from well over 100 years of legacy pollution.

This is work we are doing to fix what happened 130 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago—and, yes, we are also fixing things that were not done over the previous 16 years before we came into government.