Ten Key Achievements of Family First in South Australia
Family First has a very strong track record after 12 years in the Upper House of State Parliament:
- Family First founder and first ever Family First Member of Parliament Andrew Evans succeeded in overturning a bizarre restriction on prosecuting child sex offending that had blocked prosecutions of sex abuse offences that occurred before 1 December 1982. Andrew’s repeal of the 1982 limitation saw justice at last for victims of abuse and triggered further investigations into child sexual abuse, child protection and reforms for victims of crime.
- Dennis Hood and Rob Brokenshire both toughened the sentencing laws to ensure more criminals who engage in drug trafficking, high speed police chases or seriously harm police go directly to jail and do not get suspended sentences.
- Rob Brokenshire was the first person to succeed in passing a Bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and, later, when the Labor Government reversed its opposition to having an ICAC, brokered an end to the impasse that threatened an ICAC ever being established.
- Family First secured vital Commemorative Certificates for grieving mothers and families who have lost a baby to stillbirth before reaching 20 weeks’ gestation.
- We fought to preserve the magnificent McLaren Vale and broader Willunga Basin region for future generations, finally convincing the State Government to bring in character preservation legislation.
- Halted the closure of the Cadell Ferry and passed a Bill through the Upper House to effectively ensure that no Government can close a River Murray ferry.
- Embarrassed the Labor Government for introducing paid parking at public hospitals. Family First staged protest rallies at the affected hospital car parks and eventually the Government relented and allowed the first two hours’ parking to be free.
- Like paid parking, Family First staged a major rally at Parks Community Centre in Adelaide’s western suburbs when Labor made the crazy decision to demolish this much-loved facility and sell it off to developers. The community rallied around the Centre and the Labor Government backed down, ‘Saving the Parks.’
- Family First wrote to the former Treasurer urging him to put Government money into stimulating a very flat housing market in South Australia. He refused, but as the dire situation drew on he relented to bring badly needed stimulus. Family First has also succeeded in removing red tape in the approvals process.
- Alcohol fuelled violence has become a blight on our communities, no more so in South Australia than in the Hindley Street entertainment precinct in the Adelaide CBD. Family First moved to validate the State Government’s 3am lockout ‘Late Night Code of Practice’ in Hindley Street, which sees late night venues required to take harm prevention approaches to service of patrons, and let no more patrons into the venue after 3am.
… and already in 2014, three more major achievements for the South Australian community:
- Secured a commitment from both major parties to provide three-year funding deals for the McLaren Vale and Districts War Memorial Hospital, safeguarding the Hospital’s future after Labor put it in doubt – and enabling the Hospital to plan for the future;
- Secured a commitment from both major parties to reform what we labelled ‘Australia’s stingiest country patient travel assistance scheme’, by increasing ‘PATS’ funding by at least $2.5 million per annum;
- At last ensured that both Labor and Liberal Parties would support doubling the limit for compensation for Victims of Crime to $100,000, after Family First passed a Bill through the Upper House to achieve this – meaning:
- all victims will get more compensation from a dedicated Victim of Crime Fund sitting at almost $300 million, and
- repealing the $12,000 limit for compensation for rape victims.