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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 7121


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (17:50): My question is to the Minister for Indigenous Health. I am talking about food security issues on the APY Lands in South Australia, and Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council in particular. Minister, could you just clarify with me whether you have made any representations to the minister in charge of family services for the future of Mai Wiru? Could you confirm that in fact the news from News Limited papers today that there are no plans for future food security in the APY Lands after 30 June are correct, as has been stated? Have you made any personal representations to gain that certainty around food security issues? Can you explain the decision why there is no arrangement for future provision of community stores funding into the APY Lands from 30 June, familiarise yourself with exactly how much money is provided to Mai Wiru and also perform some level of cost-effective analysis of Mai Wiru's performance compared to Outback Stores in the Northern Territory?

Does the minister have some indication of how much money is unexpended within Outback Stores allocations—the two allocations that have been made since their establishment in 2005? Have you been prepared to extend that cost-effective analysis or even an open tender process for that provision of food security and funding to community stores in the APY area, given that Outback Stores focuses predominantly on the Northern Territory? Can you confirm that the view of the government is that there is unspent money with Outback Stores, and that one way to fund APY Stores is to cut off or terminate the funding to Mai Wiru? Finally, has your department facilitated any consultation with community leaders in the APY Lands on the health issues surrounding food security and the continuality of Mai Wiru? Has your department or yourself spoken to Nganampa Health Council, NPY Women's Council or APY Council?

Briefly, on another matter, the Gathering Place in western Melbourne have been seeking meetings with their local members, without success, to talk about issues relating to the future of the Gathering Place. I understand that as recently as today they have been attempting to meet with their local members on issues of the continuity of the Gathering Place. Would you be prepared to direct your local members in that area to meet with their constituents? They are the members for Maribyrnong, Lalor and Jagajaga?