In Parliament today the Greens have asked the Minister for Health and Wellbeing if his Department will conduct a safe drinking water stocktake following revelations that there is a “lack of direction and accountability” among government agencies when it comes to regulating water supply, and that reliable access to safe drinking water is inconsistent across South Australia. These revelations were made in SACOSS’ Falling through the gaps report.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“It is a very reasonable – and frankly basic – expectation that our Government would not only know who in our state has access to safe drinking water, but that they would ensure that everyone in our state actually has ready access to safe drinking water.
“It is unacceptable that we still have people, particularly in regional and remote communities, without reliable access to safe drinking water in South Australia. The SACOSS report shows that we have communities experiencing a high degree of water insecurity, and currently this is only set to get worse with climate change.
“The question must also be asked why an NGO is uncovering this, instead of the Government taking leadership.
“There is no clear leadership or chain of responsibility when it comes to who is responsible for managing safe drinking water, and it is split between different organisations and agencies. The Marshall Government have no clear picture, no complete information, on the state of water insecurity issues in South Australia. Surely, we should be taking steps to fix this urgently.
“As SACOSS have pointed out, they’ve done the work for the Government already – the Marshall Government now just needs to step up, take an urgent stocktake of drinking water supplies around the state, and implement the solutions to fix the drinking water supply for people living in regional and remote South Australia.