Page 907 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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In a first for Australia, the new Canberra Hospital expansion critical services building will be all electric. It will be powered by ACT’s 100 per cent renewably powered electricity. That really aligns with our climate change strategy. These new facilities will build on the substantial emission reductions Canberra Health Services has achieved of 23 per cent reduction since 2019, while still responding to the increasing healthcare service and delivery needs that we are seeing from multiple crisis. It is a really critical part to support the ACT government’s commitment to achieving zero emissions in the health sector by 2040.

We have a lot of work to do in this area, and we have some really, really, big problems to face. I am really pleased to see that we are taking steps and making progress on a lot of these issues, and I am really looking forward to seeing further outcomes from some of the other issues that we know need development.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.34): I would like to acknowledge the health minister’s words and her thanks to our health workers in our community. I also acknowledge Ms Clay for her work on the right to a healthy environment.

World Health Day 2022 is recognised by the World Health Organization as a day for our planet and for our health. The connection between the two cannot be understated. What is good for us as humans correlates directly with what is good for the environment: fresh, healthy food; sustainable transport; supporting local business; natural fibre products; cooling our neighbourhoods and cities; and the list goes on.

The relationship and balance between the health of our community and the health of our planet are inextricably and intrinsically linked. The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are caused by environmental issues.

Health underpins our fundamental being and is critical to our quality of life, including our social connections. I am pleased to work with a government that incorporates wellbeing principles into every budget consideration. In Canberra we are very lucky to live in a city that has relatively clean air, clean water and a generally healthy environment.

A resolution that I moved in the Assembly last year to investigate the opportunity for Canberra to be recognised as a national park city is testament to this. However, we also need to acknowledge that there is always more that needs to be done here in Australia, federally, and across the world, as the climate crisis is a health crisis.

I am pleased to be involved with a relatively newly formed ACT group, Women in Climate and Health. I co-hosted a networking breakfast for this group last June and am looking forward to co-hosting another one this June here at the Assembly, with a guest panel to chat about reducing consumption in the food, apparel and building sectors. I am excited about the opportunities ahead to reinvent, re-imagine and innovate for healthier environments which contribute to healthier people and healthier communities.

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