Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Statements by Members
Grey Electorate: Mental Health
It comes as no surprise to anyone in this House that the City of Whyalla is facing some real challenges at the moment. I will not dwell on the OneSteel-Arrium issues at the moment but say that there has been a considerable reduction in employment in both the resources and manufacturing industries right across the electorate of Grey. Probably its very vortex—the place that it has affected the most—is the City of Whyalla. Consequently, of course, this leads to far fewer opportunities for young people trying to get a start in life. I have been quite concerned about the mental health state of many of the people that live in that community.
In Port Augusta, almost 90 kilometres away, we have a headspace unit. It is my understanding there are about six people from Whyalla at the moment that are travelling up to Port Augusta to access this unit. In fact, that by definition almost means that unless your parents are well employed and have the resources to ferry you up and down to Port Augusta you miss out. That is not good enough.
I asked Chris Tanti, the CEO of headspace Australia, to come to Whyalla, which he did last week. I met with the city manager there and a number of other people who are involved in delivering mental healthcare services to schools and talked about the issue. I will be raising this matter further with Country SA primary health.