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Motion: Gayle's Law

The Hon. C. BONAROS: I move:

That the regulations made under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) Act 2010 concerning remote area attendance made on 16 May 2019 and laid on the table of this council on 4 June 2019, be disallowed.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I rise to associate myself with the remarks of both the Hon. Kyam Maher in a previous motion on this topic and the Hon. Connie Bonaros here today. I express my concern with Gayle's Law that we get it right. We know full well in this place the tragic situation that has presented the Woodford family with the loss of Gayle, which led to this law. This law should have, as its paramount consideration, the safety of those nurses and first responders. In terms of doing that, if it does take further negotiation to get these regulations right, then this disallowance motion, I hope, will serve that purpose.

I acknowledge the work of the ANMF of South Australia—and, indeed, their presence in the gallery here today—in actually bringing the political will to this place to get not just bipartisan support but support across the entire parliament for Gayle's Law. I have also had the experience of communication with the Fregon community and their deep pain and sorrow at the events that took place in their community. I reiterate that one of the reasons those events took place was that that community was not given the support they asked for for that person to be removed from that community in the first place.

In what I hope will be, again, not just a bipartisan but a cross-party collaboration, where we come together and work out solutions rather than retreat into our corners on this, I also note that I have had several pieces of correspondence in the last 24 hours from the Tullawon Health Service, which are providers in Yalata; from the Aboriginal Health Council; from someone known well to me, the CEO of Purple House, Sarah Brown; and also CRANAplus.

All four have urged that this parliament not disallow the regulations, and I have great sympathy for their concerns. I note that in some of their concerns they are worried that they will not be able to resource Gayle's Law if it is implemented in the way that has been put in the debate today, and was put with the bill, and I certainly urge that resourcing not be the driver in this situation but that the safety of these health professionals and the communities be the paramount consideration.

I note that the contention is around only one small part of the regulations. If previous attempts to change the way we implement and agitate our laws in this place had succeeded, we would have been able to simply delete that particular one line and ask the government to try again, but as it is we have to disallow the entire set of regulations for that particular line to be addressed.

I note that the minister, minister Wade, has put some indications that the government will look at this closely. I would hope that we will see not just a review and a close look at this but some conciliation to come between the time that we sit today and the time that this disallowance motion may well go to a vote in the next sitting week. I note also, though, that these regulations will come into effect before we sit again and so this conversation and this collaboration and consensus building must be done with urgency and respect for all parties.

The Greens, at this point, are quite attracted to supporting a disallowance motion to get that consensus and to get that compromise that is needed to put as the paramount concern the safety of our health professionals and those communities that are affected by Gayle's Law, but we also understand that creating uncertainty with the implementation of Gayle's Law with those health services that are already implementing it is not an ideal situation and not one we wish to drag out too much longer.

With those few words, I thank the member, the Hon. Connie Bonaros, for bringing this matter to this place today. I note that, should the numbers stay, this upper house does have the power to disallow the regulations, and I would hope that that is a strong signal to government that it is time for consensus and conversations. I would hope that all concerned—certainly, I promise to do this as well—will now put away the politics of this and sit down at the table to ensure that we have a workable solution by the time we come back to revisit this disallowance motion.

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