More disability houses need to be built in Port Pirie according to Opposition Disability spokesman John Gardner.
He said there is a significant level of unmet need in country South Australia.
“…the State Government should be delivering new facilities and services so that people can stay in their local communities, near their families,” he said.
The comments come after Disability Minister Ian Hunter was questioned about disability housing in the Legislative Council.
Opposition frontbencher Stephen Wade asked Mr Hunter if he was committed to ensuring that the proportion of people housed beyond metropolitan South Australia would correspond to the number of people living in regional South Australia.
In response Minister Hunter said: “That would be a very silly basis on which to allocate need to people with disability.”
Mr Gardner slammed Mr Hunter’s response.
“We should be building these houses wherever the need is, whether it’s in Port Pirie, Wayville, Whyalla, Port Adelaide, Port Augusta or anywhere else in South Australia,” he said.
Mr Gardner said the State Government had allocated $61.5 million for disability housing but only built 63 homes, corresponding to $975,000 per house.
He said the non-government sector would be able to build the homes for less.
A spokesperson for Disabilities Minister Ian Hunter said creating additional supported accommodation capacity to respond to people in urgent need of accommodation is a priority for the State Government.
“The South Australian Government has committed funding to a number of supported accommodation projects that will boost the availability of supported accommodation for people with disability,” he said.
“The need for disability services is increasing as the population ages, certain disabilities are increasing in prevalence and people with disabilities are living longer.
“We also just pledged $212 million dollars in additional funding to the disability sector in the most recent State Budget, the largest single injection of disability funding in the State’s history.”