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Speech: Spit Hood Prohibition

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (22:37): I rise in support of this bill, which will be known as Fella's Bill, to ban spit hoods. On behalf of the Greens, I note that we are now approaching the fifth anniversary of Wayne Fella Morrison's death. That death has given rise to this piece of legislation we see before us tonight. It will not bring him back, but it will protect adults and children into the future.

Spit hoods are a mesh fabric hood designed for restraint. They conceal the face and are generally fixed at the base with a band around the neck. In theory, they are used to protect corrections workers from spitting or biting. In practice, they cause harm and they cause deaths. Every other jurisdiction has gone before South Australia and, unfortunately, we now only come up at the back of the pack in addressing and righting this wrong.

I note that Wayne Fella Morrison was a Wiradjuri, Kokatha and Wirangu man. He was 29 years old when he died—when he was killed—in South Australia's Yatala Labour Prison. Of course, he died in hospital later on but his last conscious breath was taken with a spit hood on, face down in the back of a prison transport van. We do not know quite what happened in that van. There was no CCTV and there were certainly more questions raised than answers given through the arduous processes that followed.

The Northern Territory banned the use of spit hoods on minors in 2019, following the shocking investigation aired on ABC TV that showed Dylan Voller restrained in a chair in Darwin's Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and forced to wear one of these spit hoods. South Australia has, in more recent times, implemented what is an intended administrative ban. That is not good enough. This parliament will effect real change in the legislation, in the act, as it should be and as we should have done so many years ago.

We will not bring Fella back. We will go some way to honouring his legacy, and certainly I join in my mentioning tonight of Latoya Rule and her tireless advocacy for justice for her brother, for justice for her people, and pay tribute to that work. With those few words, the Greens will support that bill.

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