HIVE 12 – Twenty Five Youth Service

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the minister representing the Minister for Youth questions regarding the HIVE 12-Twenty Five youth service in the City of Tea Tree Gully.

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: It has been brought to my attention by a constituent about an excellent HIVE youth service currently offered in the Tea Tree Gully area in partnership with several other organisations and that this service supports approximately 300 previously disengaged and disadvantaged young people in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide. I have been contacted by the mother of one of these young people, who is extremely disappointed that on Tuesday night this week the Tea Tree Gully council voted, with the support of the mayor, to defund HIVE as of December.

I understand that HIVE has provided an essential social interaction lifeline for her 16-year-old daughter, a young woman who has multiple and complex health and disability related needs in addition to experiencing severe and ongoing bullying in a range of educational settings. This constituent has told me about how her daughter has gone from being unable to function at school, trying at four separate schools, to being able to attend sewing classes and other social programs at the HIVE without her mother needing to support her. This is an enormous step forward.

I understand that the HIVE is a leading edge in the provision of services to youth in our community. Its collective of services from different organisations makes it unique and highly effective. Young people have a hub where they can access a variety of services they need to help find their way to all sorts of complex issues. My questions are:

1. Will the minister intervene in some way in this decision by the council to defund HIVE and explain to the council the importance of providing young South Australians with relevant services where they feel safe and supported, particularly young people who are extremely disengaged?

2. Is the minister concerned that the relatively new Tea Tree Gully mayor does not seem to understand the needs of these young people?

3.If the service does close down, where does the minister suggest this young South Australian and others in similar situations go to find social supports and services?

4. If the minister cannot persuade the Tea Tree Gully council and its mayor to reverse this decision, will she commit to funding the service through the state government’s Office for Youth?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. I undertake to take that question to the Minister for Youth in the other place and ask her those questions about whether she is prepared to intervene in the decision made by the Tea Tree Gully council to defund a service, and to seek a response on her behalf.