Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:57): My question is to the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services. Can the minister update the house on how the Marshall government is planning for the future of the correctional services system, in particular its policies to reduce recidivism and support the needs of Aboriginal offenders.
The Hon. V.A. TARZIA (Hartley—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services) (14:58): I thank the member for Hammond for his question. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Mobilong Prison, and when we were going through that yard in Mobilong Prison, can I tell you what, sir, I was glad that I was accompanied by the member for Hammond.
On a serious note, I appreciate his concern and his deep interest in this area. I thank him for this question, and I take the opportunity to commend the outstanding work of the Department for Correctional Services and its staff in South Australia. They have done a wonderful job keeping South Australians safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.
I am pleased to provide the house with an update on our government's $200 million investment at Yatala Labour Prison and also the Adelaide Women's Prison. It is a significant investment. Not only will it deliver over 300 new jobs but also high-security beds. In fact, it has already created over 400 construction jobs. Unlike the former government when some had a view to rack 'em, pack 'em and stack 'em, as we heard, our government has made the biggest investment in metropolitan prisons in over a decade through our Better Prisons program.
Last year, I had the honour of opening the Northern Metropolitan Business Centre and also the Learning Academy based at the Yatala prison site, which provide critical support services and expand training capabilities for DCS. As we know, rehabilitation is fundamental to reducing recidivism. That is why our government committed at the 2018 election to improve the provision of rehabilitation programs, and I am pleased to report that that commitment has been met. DCS has implemented a number of new targeted programs. They include some programs that are doing outstanding work at the moment, for example, the Violence Prevention Program for Aboriginal males.
As part of the 2020-21 budget, we also announced that this year we will develop a business case for a new rehabilitation prison. This is the first initiative of its kind in South Australia. We have also invested in a pilot of a high-intensity treatment program, and that will deliver specialist high-intensity case management and also treatment right across metropolitan prisons. These measures are all part of our government's plan to keep South Australians safe but also reduce recidivism and address the over-representation of Indigenous offenders in our corrections system.
On that topic, I was proud to launch the Department for Correctional Services' Aboriginal Strategic Framework and Action Plan on 12 February. That launch was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the National Apology on Saturday 13 February. I am proud to say that our Aboriginal Strategic Framework is the first of its kind in the nation and was developed following extensive consultation with relevant experts and also stakeholders. Input was received from various external Aboriginal stakeholders, the DCS Aboriginal Reference Group—
The SPEAKER: Order!
The Hon. V.A. TARZIA: —DCS staff and, most importantly, Aboriginal prisoners. The framework is also supported by a two-year action plan, and that details—
The SPEAKER: Order! The minister has the call.
The Hon. V.A. TARZIA: —a lot of measurable activities to be undertaken by DCS. The framework also highlights the importance of providing culturally appropriate programs—this is very important—and also case management planning, ensuring that there is a connection to culture, family and also community and that that is prioritised in these Aboriginal communities.
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:
The SPEAKER: Member for West Torrens!
The Hon. V.A. TARZIA: Other measures outlined in the framework include increasing Aboriginal employment in DCS and also addressing the ways in which DCS can foster relationships with external organisations and communities to deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal prisoners and offenders as well. We are continuing to focus on reducing recidivism, and I acknowledge the department and their great work in acknowledging that South Australia continues to lead the nation with the lowest recidivism rate in the nation at 42.3 per cent.
The SPEAKER: Order! Before I call the member for Kaurna, I call to order the Premier, I warn the Deputy Premier and I warn for a second time the member for Lee.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for West Torrens will cease interjecting in the course of the minister's answer. The member for West Torrens was interjecting across the chamber. If it is necessary to spell it out, I will. I remind all members that that particular form of interjection—that is, from one member across the chamber to another—makes it particularly difficult to follow the member asking the question or the minister answering the question.