The state government has looked at a more hands-on approach to address anti-social behaviour in Port Augusta, sending cabinet ministers to meet with community members and organisations.
Cabinet ministers, including Minister for Human Services Nat Cook, headed to Port Augusta on Tuesday, June 28 and Wednesday, June 29 to get a better understanding of the situation on the ground in regards to anti-social behaviour.
The group met with a range of groups, including local Aboriginal elders, support services and first responders, which Ms Cook said was helpful in getting the community and government on the same page.
"We've bought together health, SAPOL, housing, and a whole range of other people who are just interested in providing the best possible environment and amenity for people from all over South Australia," she said.
"We've made it a priority to come here, have a chat with locals, have a chat with people who are journeying through Port Augusta, and those people that provide services here to see how we can best activate a group that is going to work together to make sure everybody in Port Augusta and surrounding cities are welcome."
Ms Cook said change will not happen overnight, but she hopes the government will "get a new process set up" in the coming months to better invest in services and connect people to them.
The ministers were invited by Independent Stuart MP Geoff Brock and Giles MP Eddie Hughes, who both look after Port Augusta within their electorates.
Mr Brock said he wanted to make sure the government was hearing the same message from everyone in the community.
"The committee that was going before [under the previous government] were doing most of their meetings from Adelaide via Zoom," he said.
"I don't think you actually get the feel unless you're in the location itself.
"It was good that we all hear the same story and understand what's happening on the ground."
According to Mr Hughes, there was "massive local input", which made talks within the community very constructive.
"Having there [on Tuesday] four different ministers and one other minister represented, I think that's a measure of how seriously we're taking some of these issues here in Port Augusta," he said.
Mr Hughes said he would not sugar-coat the situation and there is a lot more work that needs to be done.
"As a government, we've made a commitment to $1.2 million for the the Safe City program - it might not be called that," he said.
"Let's see how that can be shaped to be effective, but that's only one layer.
"We need to work together as politicians, as community members to see what it is that we can do to address that."
The other ministers that came to Port Augusta included Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Joe Szakacs, Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs Andrea Michaels, and a representative of Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Kyam Maher.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.