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- Start of Business
- PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS
- FEDERAL FINANCIAL RELATIONS AMENDMENT (NATIONAL HEALTH AND HOSPITALS NETWORK) BILL 2010
- HEALTH INSURANCE (EXTENDED MEDICARE SAFETY NET - MIDWIVES) AMENDMENT DETERMINATION 2010
- CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT (CLUSTER MUNITIONS PROHIBITION) BILL 2010
- NATIONAL HEALTH AND HOSPITALS NETWORK BILL 2010
- AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PREVENTIVE HEALTH AGENCY BILL 2010
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
- Great Barrier Reef: Project Catalyst
- Ovarian Cancer
- Flinders Electorate: Infrastructure Charge
- Tan Kien Ly
- Minister’s Awards for Excellence for Employers of Australian Apprentices
- Turkey: Republic Day
- Murray-Darling Basin
- Professor Berni Einoder AM
- Kalamunda Schoolies Timor-Leste Project
- Australian Youth Climate Coalition
- TRAGEDIES IN INDONESIA
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Abbott, Tony, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Owens, Julie, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Andrews, Kevin, MP, Abbott, Tony, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Rowland, Michelle, MP, Gillard, Julia, MP)
(Van Manen, Bert, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Jones, Stephen, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Hockey, Joe, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(O’Neill, Deborah, MP, Roxon, Nicola, MP)
(Hockey, Joe, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
Carbon Farming Initiative
(D’Ath, Yvette, MP, Combet, Greg, MP)
(Bandt, Adam, MP, Swan, Wayne, MP)
(Parke, Melissa, MP, Rudd, Kevin, MP)
(Bishop, Julie, MP, Rudd, Kevin, MP)
Women in the Workplace
(Burke, Anna, MP, Ellis, Kate, MP)
(Briggs, Jamie, MP, Bowen, Chris, MP)
Freedom of Information
(Saffin, Janelle, MP, O’Connor, Brendan, MP)
(Forrest, John, MP, Burke, Tony, MP)
(Grierson, Sharon, MP, Emerson, Craig, MP)
Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme
(Mirabella, Sophie, MP, Garrett, Peter, MP)
(Symon, Mike, MP, Crean, Simon, MP)
- PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS
- USE OF MOBILE TELEPHONES
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- AUTONOMOUS SANCTIONS BILL 2010
- VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WEEKLY PAYMENTS) BILL 2010
- THERAPEUTIC GOODS AMENDMENT (2010 MEASURES NO. 1) BILL 2010
- GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S SPEECH
- HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT AMENDMENT (FEE-HELP LOAN FEE) BILL 2010
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PREVENTIVE HEALTH AGENCY BILL 2010
- Second Reading
- Consideration in Detail
- Third Reading
- Road Infrastructure
- Ipswich Region Community Church Day of Honour
- Dunkley Electorate: Frankston
- Moreton Electorate: Seniors
- Grey Electorate: Road Conditions on the Birdsville Track
- Makin Electorate: Greek Community
- Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Canberra Electorate: Telstra Awards
- Start of Business
- Stirling Electorate: Neighbourhood Watch
- Calwell Electorate: Radio 3ZZZ
- Macarthur Electorate: 24-Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur
- Parramatta Electorate: Merrylands Baptist Church
- Grey Electorate: Bedford Industries
- Deakin Electorate: Building the Education Revolution Program
- Dunkley Electorate: Small Businesses
- Corio Electorate: Youth Leadership Awards
- Bradfield Electorate: San Run for Life
- Page Electorate
THERAPEUTIC GOODS AMENDMENT (2010 MEASURES
- VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WEEKLY PAYMENTS) BILL 2010
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
- DISTINGUISHED VISITORS
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Ms LIVERMORE (5:53 PM) —Before the debate was interrupted earlier this afternoon, I was talking about a couple of small changes that have been made to the Australian National Preventive Health Agency Bill 2010 compared to the form it took when it last passed the House in 2009. Apart from those two small changes, the scope and purpose of the bill remain unchanged.
This bill fits within the overall health reform agenda of the Labor government. This government is committed to improving the health of all Australians through policies that deal with the challenges of access, affordability and the overall cost of providing quality health care. We are doing that in the face of evidence that warns us that those aims will be hard to achieve in the coming decades due to the increased demands and costs associated with the ageing population and increasing rates of chronic disease. That is why we place such a priority on preventative health policies, and this bill is an integral part of that important strategy.
We will not get on top of the rising costs of providing health care to Australians unless we direct more resources towards preventative health and do it in a strategic and nationally coordinated way. The challenge is enormous and growing. Potentially avoidable diseases affect the lives of millions of Australians. They also account for around 20 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure. Currently, smoking kills around 15,000 Australians each year and costs Australia $31½ billion each year. More than 60 per cent of Australians aged over 18 are overweight or obese. And more than 800,000 Australians aged 15 years and older were hospitalised for alcohol related injury and disease between 1996 and 2005. We have to be able to do better and, frankly, we cannot afford not to.
The reform agenda Labor are driving has made it clear that we recognise that our health system should be as much about keeping people in good health as it is about treating them when they are sick. The focus on preventative health, however, involves a major change in the way we organise and fund our health system and in the way people think about their lifestyles and personal responsibility for their wellbeing. That requires national leadership, something that was recognised and recommended by both the Health and Hospitals Reform Commission and the national Preventative Health Taskforce.
The government sees the Australian National Preventive Health Agency as a key part of the national effort towards driving those essential changes in the way we look at health. The need for and rationale for the National Preventive Health Agency have been endorsed by groups that know all too well the personal and financial costs of ignoring the current trends of chronic and preventable disease. For example, the Heart Foundation has welcomed the establishment of the National Preventive Health Agency, saying that it ‘heralds an important and proactive focus for preventative health care, especially in the major health risk areas of tobacco and obesity, that could potentially shift the significant burden of cost that accompanies chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease’. Similarly, the Public Health Association of Australia and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians have indicated their support for the agency and the desire for it to be up and running as quickly as possible. That is exactly what the government is striving for.
The bill before us today establishes the Australian Preventive Health Agency to support Australian health ministers in tackling the complex and growing challenge of preventable chronic disease. The bill specifies the functions, governance and structure of the agency, including the interaction with the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing and the Australian Health Ministers Conference. An important part of the structure of the Preventive Health Agency is the advisory council, which will be made up of between seven and 11 members with experience in the preventative health sector in a variety of disciplines and from a variety of sectors across that area.
The agency takes its place within a much broader preventative health effort being undertaken through a historic partnership on preventative health between the Commonwealth and state governments. Early in this government’s first term, COAG signed off on the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health. That partnership represents an initial $872 million investment in preventative health measures developing strategies to inform people of the risks of obesity, smoking and drinking and encouraging people to make choices that will lead to better long-term health outcomes. That investment of $872 million is the largest ever investment by an Australian government to support preventative health initiatives.
That partnership agreement included the establishment of this Preventive Health Agency. COAG recognised that supporting or enabling infrastructure such as the Preventive Health Agency and its research and surveillance capacity was required to support the Commonwealth and the states in their efforts to tackle the complex challenges associated with preventable chronic conditions and achieve the outcomes specified in the prevention partnership signed off at COAG, particularly those around healthy weight, physical activity, healthy eating and smoking.
In fact, it is Australia’s track record in bringing down the rates of smoking that should give encouragement to all of us about what it is possible to achieve through concerted strategies to educate the community, promote health messages and back that up with action. Australia has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the world as a result of hard-hitting social marketing campaigns backed up by measures such as increasing the excise applying to tobacco products, banning tobacco advertising and introducing graphic warning labels. This government wants to go further by making Australia the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products.
We have seen the results on smoking rates but more needs to be done on that, as well as on the rising incidence of obesity and harmful drinking. Up until now there have been programs running here and there across multiple jurisdictions and departments, but it is time for a fully coordinated national approach backed up by the best research into the exact dimensions of the problem, including a full understanding of the social determinants of health outcomes.
A key initial role of the National Preventive Health Agency will be to provide the leadership, coordination and monitoring required to support the successful implementation of initiatives funded through the prevention partnership, including $692 million out of that $872 million I mentioned earlier. From the recommendations of the agency a consistent and clear policy is to be delivered in order to ensure that this nation’s health risks are met with action. Under the prevention partnership the Commonwealth will provide funding of $133 million over four years for the National Preventive Health Agency. Of this, $17.6 million will be provided for the establishment and maintenance of the agency. Other funds will be used for social marketing—an amount of $102 million—and there is $13 million to support preventive health research, particularly that which focuses on the translation of research into practice. There is also money to audit workforce availability and to develop a strategy to address any identified gaps in that workforce.
We know that the challenges associated with chronic disease and lifestyle risk factors are very large. There are already numerous programs across the country aimed at increasing Australians’ physical activity levels and reducing those lifestyle factors that impact so negatively on people’s health. I spoke in the last debate on this bill about the 10,000 Steps program, which originated in Rockhampton in my electorate and which continues to play an important role in educating people about the importance of incorporating exercise into their daily lives and establishing a research base, backed up by the Central Queensland University, about the effectiveness of such community-wide campaigns.
The federal government is also supporting the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program, and I had great pleasure in joining the community on Saturday morning to celebrate the opening of the kitchen garden project at Farnborough State School on the Capricorn Coast. I was very proud when Farnborough State School was chosen to be amongst the first schools to be funded after the program was expanded beyond Victoria, thanks to a commitment made by this government in the 2007 election. It was truly astonishing to see what the school has achieved with the support of the Stephanie Alexander Foundation; funding from our government, including from the BER; and a great deal of hard work by teachers, especially Pam and Sue, the students and community volunteers. The program seeks to revolutionise the way children approach and experience food. It teaches children to grow, harvest and prepare healthy, nutritional food and experience the home-grown taste that is lacking in much of the processed food that makes up our diets today. The Farnborough students are developing the knowledge and skills that can set them up for a lifetime of good eating habits. We saw plenty of evidence of the power of this project at Farnborough as the students served guests samples of the beautiful food they cooked themselves using the produce from the extensive school garden.
Not so obvious but just as important are the social and educational benefits that are flowing from the school’s embrace of this project, as we learned from one of the mothers who shared her child’s kitchen garden experience with the audience at the opening. She said:
For a special needs child the Stephanie Alexander project gets these kids out of the classroom which is so overwhelming and into the outdoors, gardening where they can be themselves and nothing is expected of them. I think they blossom 100 per cent. Many schools only offer sports as outside activities, which is not what autistic or Asperger’s kids would consider as fun. The garden is a much better alternative. The garden and kitchen are teaching them so many life skills without them realising, whether it’s tending to plants or following a recipe. My child makes some pretty good salads and is a great help in the kitchen at home. My child was struggling with reading but can follow a recipe no worries. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden project is not just a garden or a kitchen. It is my child’s happy place.
We were all so pleased to hear of that experience and that Amanda was able to share that with us on Saturday morning.
So it is great to know that, with the assistance of $12.8 million in federal funding, by 2012 there will be 200 schools and over 20,000 children sharing this experience nationwide. It shows us that there are things out there that work to put Australians on the path to being better informed about the choices they make. The challenge to governments is to reverse the traditional health policy model which puts preventive health initiatives at the edges of the health system and instead give them priority within a fully integrated health system. Australia is now getting the leadership and the funding it needs to tackle the complex and growing challenge of preventable disease caused by smoking, obesity, alcohol and poor lifestyle choices.
I commend this bill to the House as one more step towards tackling that challenge. When smoking kills 15,000 Australians every year and our children are facing a shorter life expectancy than the current generation, I call on the opposition to stop wasting valuable time and to support this bill.