Page 3307 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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socioeconomic conditions can change the health of populations both positively and negatively. Health inequalities can also affect everyone’s health and wellbeing. The excessive burden of health problems, such as infectious diseases, alcohol and drug misuse, mental illness and violence in disadvantaged groups, also has adverse health and social impacts on all sectors of society, not just on the individuals involved.

There is also a major economic impact of social and health inequalities. Excess morbidity and mortality increases health and social costs and also causes reduced economic productivity. There is widespread evidence on the cost effectiveness of early intervention for chronic disease, and some suggest that that is five times the financial return for every dollar spent. Also, many incidences of disease have a number of common behavioural and biomedical risk factors, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol use and excessive weight. By tackling the social determinants of a particular health problem, we can lower the risk factors of a number of health issues. Focusing on the social determinants of health allows coordinated strategies to keep people healthy and out of hospital, which is the most expensive treatment place for health.

So it is quite clear that the social determinants of health are a significant issue that we need to deal with, but I think we all have different approaches as to how we should deal with them. We would see individual responsibility as key to that. Perhaps others would see a greater role for government. But what is clear is that we need to coordinate an approach, and I am not confident at this stage that we have that with this government and that the money that is being spent on preventive health measures is getting the bang for the buck that we actually require.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion on the matter of public importance is now concluded.


Motion (by Ms Gallagher) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.57): I want to bring to the attention of members and the people of Canberra that on 4 August this month at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture there was the dedication and, although they did not unveil it, the unveiling of the mural wall of the Holy Spirit on our land. For those that do not know, the Centre for Christianity and Culture is part of the Charles Sturt University. It houses a number of things, including St Martin’s theological. There is a chapel, there is a labyrinth, there is a biblical garden and now there is a splendid mural. The mural is the representation of the Gija people in the east Kimberley of their view of the Holy Spirit.

I will just read the explanation card: “Mural wall of the Holy Spirit in our land. This mural wall represents a painting depicting the Holy Spirit in our land by the late renowned elder, lawman and painter of the Gija people of the east Kimberley, Hector Jandany.” In the painting the Holy Spirit is depicted in the form of the white owl of

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