Page 3961 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

between community, ecosystems, secure employment, housing, access to cheap and renewable electricity, and food security. All of these attributes have come to be known as the social determinants of health. I know that sounds like a buzz phrase, but it is a genuine and transformative way to think about health.

Mr Davis’s recent motion on the relationship between climate change and public health shows that way of thinking. Through that motion we have called on the government to develop a climate change preparedness strategy to ensure that public health services are adequately prepared for the impacts of climate change.

The warming climate is a dire threat to human health. Preparing for the impacts of climate change on the health and comfort of our community is a top priority. While we focus on climate mitigation and prevention, we also need to turn our public policy brains to adaptation. The impacts of heat on our health is the obvious issue here; but, right now, despite the cooler weather, we are in the middle of a climate-induced health issue that is specific to Canberra. The huge increase in rain we have had in recent months has led to the overproduction of pollen and other irritants trapped in our valley. These pollens are causing significant issues for those who experience allergies, including the onset of asthma and eczema.

Of course, in New South Wales—and we are an island in New South Wales—people are experiencing other serious health impacts at the moment, such as flooding. They have immediate dangers like drowning. They have injuries from rising waters. They also have the impacts of isolation. They have the loss of health infrastructure. They have a lack of access to fresh food and other essential supplies like medicines. This is the kind of systemic problem that we need to be thinking about, and this is the kind of change we need to be factoring in.

A well-resourced and protected public health system that has the capacity to be adaptable and to work with complexity is essential, especially as we move into a world that is defined by a warming climate. I look forward to seeing the products of Mr Davis’s motion that he moved late last year and continuing to work with the government on these incredibly important issues.

The ACT Greens are strongly supportive of new and meaningful ideas that are evidence based and equitable. We look forward to seeing these new and meaningful ideas that will help our health system, going forward. I would encourage constructive debate, but that debate needs to be informed by evidence and good data, with genuine, deep analysis. The Greens cannot support this motion today.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (3.39): I thank Ms Castley for this motion. It provides an opportunity to restate the ACT government’s funding strategy for mental health.

The investments that we make demonstrate the value of our Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing in being able to build upon their years of research and analysis and strong working relationships across ACT government with commonwealth Health and with our university and community sector partners. I am thankful for our NGOs, who

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video