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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3810 ..


disorders engage with me in despair at their situation. I thank everyone who has shared their story with me, and I note those here in the Assembly. I am dedicated to working with you to ensure that your families receive the care and support that you need.

I commend the ACT government’s commitment to improving the services and supports for people living with eating disorders in our community. I am pleased that there is recognition of the need to do more. I welcome the current tender for the design of the residential care facility which will provide a home-like environment with intensive nutritional and psychological treatment to help establish a safe, healthy relationship with food and exercise. I commend the ACT government for its inclusion of people with lived experience in the design process.

Eating disorders affect approximately four in every 100 people in Australia. That is roughly 17,000 Canberrans. What is equally concerning is that the mortality rate for people with eating disorders is up to six times higher than for those who do not have an eating disorder. This figure particularly reflects people who suffer from anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is both a psychological and medical condition and can affect anyone of any age, gender, socio-economic demographic, cultural background or stage of life.

According to the Butterfly Foundation, eating disorders can result from many different causes, including discrimination, trauma, exposure to violence and abuse, pressure to conform to social or cultural stereotypes or desire for sports performance. Given that anorexia nervosa is both a medical and psychological condition, the disease requires a multidisciplinary approach involving medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, dietitians and physiotherapists. Our support systems need to recognise and fully reflect that anorexia is a treatable disease and, as such, provide environments of hope to enable people to recover and thrive. As highlighted by Kate’s email to me back in August, we need to do more to provide timely, accessible eating disorder support for people in our community.

Madam Speaker, I am proud to present today 741 signatories to this petition calling on the ACT government to update the Assembly about progress on the ACT government’s eating disorder position statement and refresh the statement, detail the actions that have been taken to improve access for more patients to the ACT’s eating disorder program and commit to reviewing demand and reducing the backlog to provide appropriate eating disorder resourcing and support.

I look forward to hearing more and remaining closely involved in this matter to ensure positive outcomes for our community. Eating disorders are an absolutely debilitating experience for everyone involved and for too many people in our community. We need to do more.

Health—eating disorder support services—petition 34-21

Woden—indoor sports facilities—petition 23-21

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and


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