Thursday, 18 May 2017
Drivers with a Disability
The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Last week, I asked the minister a number of questions regarding his ministerial staff referring disability-related questions to my office, and about SAPOL apparently targeting a constituent with a disability when he is driving. Although it was a week ago, the minister has not brought back a response to these questions and, given the impact it is having on my constituent’s life, I ask again:
- Has the minister spoken with his ministerial staff, asking why they would refer constituents to our office when they call about disability-related matters?
- Does the minister’s office know how to manage and support people with disability and their family carers when they have inquiries?
- Has the minister and his office followed up with the specific constituent who called on behalf of her son, who has been facing police harassment, it would appear, and multiple expiations while driving?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): I thank the honourable member for her questions. Of course, it would be my expectation that, when I make commitments in this council or undertake in this council (as I believe I did in my answer to the Hon. Ms Vincent’s question last week) to follow up on an issue, that is exactly what occurs. I understand the concerns the Hon. Ms Vincent has. As yet, I am not aware of the specific instance to which the Hon. Ms Vincent refers, and I reiterate that, if the Hon. Ms Vincent or her office would provide me with details of the particular circumstances to which she is referring, I am more than happy to make inquiries.
My particular concern, of course, rather than issues in terms of the bureaucracy, is the more fundamental concern of the constituent inquiry that I understand the Hon. Ms Vincent has raised, which is the way particular police officers treat members of our community who may suffer from a disability of some description. Again, I am happy to reiterate the commitment I made last week.
At the conclusion of question time today, I am more than happy to make inquiries of my office and see to it that the particular concerns the Hon. Ms Vincent has raised are followed up, but I can’t think of any good reason that would necessitate my ministerial office, whether that be political staff or otherwise, referring matters to her office. It should be within our capacity to deal with inquiries as appropriate, or if inquiries come through to our office that do not pertain to the responsibilities that my office has or that I have as minister, to find someone else who is in a position to deal with those inquiries adequately.
The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Does the minister understand that I don’t actually need to give him the contact details for this constituent, given that they contacted his office in the first place and his office referred them to me? If he wants to find those details, he need only go through the scenario where I described the constituent in my previous questions. I am sure that, if he looks through his database, he will be able to find that constituent very easily.