Code Blue Emergency Code

Ms SANDERSON (Adelaide) (12:26): I rise to speak in support of this motion, and I congratulate the member for Chaffey on bringing this to the house's attention last year. I thank the government for following through and extending Code Blue out to the regions since then. Code Blue is a great initiative of the government. It was first enacted in 2016 in the city. As we have heard, it has now been expanded into the regions, including Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Whyalla, Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Port Lincoln and the Riverland.

It is a joint initiative. The government is funding the initiative, which is great. In the city, the WestCare facility, owned by Baptist Care, alternates with the Hutt St Centre as the location or the venue that will host people who are sleeping rough during Code Blue events. It is good to see a coordinated effort. It is disappointing that it took 14 or 15 years in government and several people actually dying in the Parklands before this was enacted. It is a great initiative, and I am very glad that it exists, but I just question why it took so long, given it is not a new problem.

After speaking to the Hutt St Centre and some of the people who are involved directly with the people who come in on these Code Blue evenings, one of the most surprising and shocking things was that at the first Code Blue that was held in Adelaide 75 per cent of the people who turned up to WestCare were not known by any service provider in Adelaide. It shocked and surprised everybody because there are many services available, but clearly they are not actually getting to the people who need them most.

I also welcome the expansion of the Street Crew, which now includes doctors and different service providers that have a wider scope to go out to find people who are sleeping rough. I was fortunate enough to do a shift with the Street Crew last year. We met a couple—a man and a woman—sleeping near the railway line near the IceArenA. The people I was with spoke to them individually. One caseworker spoke to the gentleman and another caseworker spoke to the lady. They were able to get them housed, so it was a wonderful result.

The Street Crew pretty well know where a lot of people sleep because they are regular, but it was very surprising that on the day of the first Code Blue, 75 per cent of the people who turned up were not known at all. I wonder what the statistics are for the regional areas now that they have also had a Code Blue. It is a great way for service providers to be able to identify who needs help and get the right services to them because ideally we should not have anybody sleeping rough. We should be providing adequate shelter and housing for people.

There are a certain number of people who actually prefer to sleep rough—not many, but there are a couple who do not like the constraints and the restriction of boarding houses, which have rules about lights out and strict rules around alcohol and drugs. Some people choose to have those things in their life. I know that we cannot solve everybody's problem, but we can certainly solve a lot more than we are. This is a great way of getting access to people we were not aware of before and getting the service to them. I commend the member for Chaffey for bringing to the house this motion to extend that service to the regions, and I am very grateful that the government will be supporting it.