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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1788


Mr GRIFFIN (Bruce) (16:26): I rise to alert the House to the launch today of a report through the Butterfly Foundation for eating disorders entitled Investing in need. This report goes to the opportunities for funding health care and support for people suffering from eating disorders and the real opportunities to make savings. The study itself was originally funded under the previous Labor government, although that was not pointed out today, but it does make some very important points.

Eating disorders are expensive conditions. It can cost more than $100,000 to appropriately treat a person with anorexia nervosa. EDs are also long lasting and debilitating conditions. For example, if someone has AN for a decade, the cost of their forgone productivity and other financial costs could be greater than $200,000.

This study provides an important opportunity for government to consider the question of expending money now for savings in the future. This relates to the premise behind putting a fence at the top of the cliff, rather than dealing with people at the bottom of the cliff after they have had the accident. The estimation is that the benefits of interventions, as outlined throughout this report, could outweigh the costs by a factor of more than five to one. The government should consider very seriously dealing with what is a very serious issue in the Australian community.