Aboriginal Health #Sugartax debate : Sugar consumption is critical to reducing chronic health conditions, including diabetes says NACCHO

sugar-tax

“The high costs of transporting food and groceries to remote communities mean that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in these areas are already paying inflated prices for these types of products, and all other grocery items.

“These communities are also less able to pay higher costs and have limited access to alternatives, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables – which, because of the long distances they need to be transported, are often past their prime and overpriced when they arrive,”

“Reducing sugar consumption is critical to reducing chronic health conditions, including diabetes; however, there needs to be more work done on how these issues would be overcome before NACCHO could support any tax-based approach such as a sugar tax.”

Chair Matthew Cooke from peak Indigenous health body, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has expressed reservations about the tax to MJA InSight.

See NACCHO Previous obesity articles HERE

 “sugary drinks were “killing the population” in remote communities, after the senate heard evidence of an “astounding” level of soft drink sales at remote community stores.

Senator Scullion said he has been working with remote stores to restrict the sale of larger bottles of soft drink.

“I’ve been trying to negotiate the two litre and 1.5 litres off the shelves completely,”

“It’s a difficult thing but the evidence shows that whatever portion you buy, a child will drink oneand-a-half litres.”

More recently he went to a community store where water was free, but despite trying to “hide the full-strength coke” it was the popular choice.

He gave one example where a remote community store was drawing half of its total profits from soft drink sales.

“It was the most expensive liquid in that store and everyone went straight there,”

Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion,

 ” TAXES on unhealthy foods, not subsidies on fruit and vegetables, are effective at reducing the burden of obesity, new research suggests, amid renewed clamour for a sugary drinks tax.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have found that a subsidy on fresh fruit and vegetables would not on its own produce health gains, because it would lead to an undesirable increase in sodium and energy intake.”

Authored by Sarah Colyer from MJA Insight

However, adding a subsidy to a package of taxes on sugar, fat, salt and sugar-sweetened beverages could be effective, they wrote. The combination of taxes plus the subsidy could avert 470 000 disability-adjusted life years and save $3.4 billion from the health budget, the modelling study found.

The study drew on detailed New Zealand price–elasticity data – which track variations in product uptake with changes in product prices – to quantify disease risk reductions associated with each change in risk factor exposure.

A sugar tax would be most cost-effective, the study found, followed by a salt tax, a saturated fat tax and a sugar-sweetened beverages tax.

Writing in the journal PLOS Medicine, Dr Linda Cobiac and colleagues said that their findings added to the “growing evidence of large health benefits and cost-effectiveness of using taxes and regulatory measures to influence the consumption of healthy foods”.

The findings about the subsidy might at first appear counterintuitive, they said.

“However, using price subsidies or discounts as an incentive to purchase more fruits and vegetables may have the effect of increasing real income available to buy food, including unhealthy products, and could therefore lead to an overall increase in dietary measures such as saturated fat, sodium, or total energy intake,” they wrote.

The federal government is facing growing pressure from public health advocates to tax sugary drinks, with the Australian Greens pledging to introduce a bill on the measure later in 2017.

Writing in the MJA, the University of Sydney’s Professor Stephen Colagiuri urged the government to make the tax a priority as part of a multicomponent strategy against obesity.

That call was echoed in a separate report released last week by the Obesity Policy Coalition, whose member organisations include Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Australia (Victoria) and Deakin University.

In his MJA article, Professor Colagiuri cited the introduction of Mexico’s sugary drinks tax in 2014, which was followed by a 12% decline in the consumption of taxed beverages and a spike in bottled water consumption.

“The ongoing impact of [Mexico’s] tax has been challenged with new data suggesting a small increase in sales of SSBs [sugar-sweetened beverages] in 2015, but still lower than the increase in pre-tax sales,” he wrote.

“Arguments that an SSB tax is an ineffective means to reduce consumption are inconsistent with food industry claims of potential damage and job losses, which instead may point to the industry believing that a tax would substantially impact consumption.”

Professor Colagiuri noted that Australia was among the largest global markets for sugar-sweetened beverages, with males aged 4–30 years drinking an average 750 mL (two cans) per day.

“Government pays for health services and consequently has a right and duty to address externalities to promote and protect public health,” he wrote.

However, the federal government last week continued its resistance to any form of sugar tax, with health minister Greg Hunt commenting: “We’re committed to tackling obesity, but increasing the family’s weekly shop at the supermarket isn’t the answer.”

Decrying the proposed tax as a “nanny state” response, assistant minister for health, Dr David Gillespie, noted that Denmark had repealed its sugar tax and dropped plans for a tax on saturated fats.

Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, said in 2016 that sugary drinks were “killing the population” in remote communities, after the senate heard evidence of an “astounding” level of soft drink sales at remote community stores.

David Butt, CEO of the National Rural Health Alliance told MJA InSight that his organisation supported “the possibility of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and using the revenue to subsidise access to healthier food options”.

Professor Andrew Wilson, director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, said that compared with taxing sugar per se or salt, the proposed tax on sugary drinks had “the virtue of being fairly easy to define”.

“However, these drinks are so cheap to make that the tax will need to be substantial,” he added.

A recent report by the Grattan Institute recommended that sugar-sweetened beverages be taxed at a rate of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar, increasing the price of a 2-litre bottle of soft drink by 80 cents. This would raise about $500 million a year, according to the Grattan Institute, which predicted a resultant 15% drop in consumption of sugary drinks and a small decrease in obesity rates.

Professor Wilson stressed that any taxation approach should be “part of a package that includes education and support for good nutrition, promotion and facilitation of physical activity, with particular focus on school-aged and older teens, planning considerations and, possibly for some areas and groups, subsidies for fruit and vegetables”.

Dr Cobiac agreed, commenting: “Our modelling shows that the potential health benefits of using taxes and subsidies to improve dietary choices and the nutritional quality of our foods in Australia are huge, but ultimately, they are just one of a number of measures that are needed to tackle obesity.”

Dr Cobiac noted that 13 other countries had announced taxes on unhealthy foods or sugar drinks in the past 5 years.

“It was true that Denmark had revoked its policies,” she said; however, she added that it was likely that as early initiators “they did not fully foresee or plan for dealing with the resulting backlash from the food industry”.

“We will never know what effect the taxes would have had in Denmark; they were repealed before there was a chance to properly evaluate them,” Dr Cobiac said.

“While many people want to eat better and lose weight, it is not easy to sustain the changes in behaviour when we live in an environment where unhealthy foods are widely available, heavily marketed and cheap.

“That environment is unlikely to change without a really comprehensive strategy to tackle the obesity problem.”

Please leave your comment below

7 thoughts on “Sugar tax: what you need to know”

    1. Anonymous says:

      This debate has been going around and around for far too long. In the meantime, overweight and obesity rates are increasing. Public health advocates need to change tack and get on with their ‘real’ jobs to make a positive difference. Scrap the idea of additional taxes on processed foods. And as for ‘modelling studies’ to underpin an evidence base to guide action. We know what to do: listen to people demonstrating ‘Lived Experience’.

    1. Andrew says:

      I second the previous comment. “Modelling” is not evidence. Let’s see real world evidence first — does a tax on sugar actually reduce obesity rates? That is the only evidence that counts.

      As a side point, imposing a “sugar tax” will cause food manufacturers to substitute sugar with other sweeteners, e.g. stevia. The long term health implications of stevia (and other additives) are unknown. Of course public health “experts” love to pretend that they are omniscient and infallible, but some caution is warranted. Let’s not repeat the massive public health failures of the past, such as the notorious food pyramid which was based on the flimsiest of evidence.

    1. Dr Rosemary Stanton says:

      We do know what to do, but the political power of the processed food industry means we get obstruction to anything that might decrease sales of its products. Junk food and drinks contribute 35% of adults’ and over 40% of children’s energy intake. That is the elephant in the room and we need multiple actions to tackle it. A sugar tax is one that is simple to implement, especially applied to drinks.

      Even more importantly, we need to stop promoting junk food and drinks. That means stopping advertising these products during TV programs that children watch. It means sporting teams and sports heros not acting as walking billboards. It needs bans on advergames for children where product placement of junk foods and drinks are visible for the time spent playing the game – which may be 30 minutes. It needs schools to stop selling children junk food and drinks from the school canteen (which negates anything they might learn in the classroom).

      We also need to talk about foods rather than nutrients. The Dietary Guidelines talk about foods. Sadly, almost no one follows them – as shown by the fact that less than 7% eat even the minimal amount of vegetables and fruit recommended, and junk food consumption is so high.

    1. Roger McMaster-Fay MRCOG FRANZCOG says:

      Oh great, another tax and it worked so well on cigarettes!. We are one of the most highly taxed countries in the world! We need a new paradigm to tackle this problem and we doctors should be able to come up with one. What about tax deductions for people who loose weight?

    1. Dr. ARC says:

      Lot’s of salient comments from Rosemary and Roger. I do not believe that drinks alone are the major cause of obesity. As always if you put more calories in than you need or use in exercise the extra calories are stored as fat, period! We need to return to the era of good home cooking and stop eating out at expensive restaurants and quick take away options which are loaded with fat and sugar. Then and only then can we begin to tackle the problem of obesity.

    1. Virginia Fazio says:

      What will the food industry use to replace ingredients that are taxed? Instead of sugar in foods will they use starches and intense sweeteners? Metabolically very little difference between starch and sugar. Will saturated fat be replaced with unsaturated fats that may be less heat stable and produce byproducts may have other health risks? Will consumers go back to adding more salt during cooking and at the table to processed foods with lower salt levels? Research needs to be on the whole diet outcomes if some processed foods carry an additional tax. We know that how the food industry meet consumer demand for low cholesterol and low saturated fat foods did not always result in a “healthy” food. Perhaps as a community we need improved cooking and gardening skills so we rely less on highly processed foods.

  1. Andrew Jamieson says:

    Education, education, education!! Where is ‘health’ on the syllabus at our schools? What public education is there on nutrition despite the valiant efforts of the likes of Rosemary Stanton. We might as well tax cars even more more as we kill lots of people with them! And it has been well pointed out that sugar alone is not responsible for our health woes. Logically we need more put GST on food, however no government would seriously consider this

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #FU2racism : Research shows majority of Australians believe #18C protections should stay

savetherda

 ” While debate over the merits of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act continues to rage, new research shows that an overwhelming majority of Australians support legislation that prevents insults on the basis of race, culture or religion.

We found that just 10% of Australians believe people should have the freedom to “insult” and “offend” people on the basis of race, culture or religion.

Over 75% are opposed. The poll, conducted by Essential Research for the Cyber Racism and Community Resilience (CRaCR) and our other Challenging Racism research projects, undermines other claims that nearly 50% of Australians want the key words removed from Section 18C.

Authors Professor of Sociology, University of Technology Sydney ,Dean of the School of Social Science and Psychology, Western Sydney University Research Assistant, Challenging Racism Project, Western Sydney University

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Download research from last nights Is Australia racist  challenging_racism_report_3

Download cyber-racism-and-community-resilience-cracr

“ Surveys suggested racism was already a near-universal experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with 97% having experienced it in the past year and more than 70% reporting eight or more incidents in that period. Almost one-third said they had experienced racism in the health setting.

By settings standards of conduct, the law had an important role in containing the spread of racism and race hate, and described the watering down of sections 18c & d of the RDA as a “major risk” for the effective implementation of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

The Plan envisages a health system free of racism, offering effective, high quality, appropriate and affordable health services to Indigenous Australians “

Matthew Cooke Chair of NACCHO

From post 21 December 2016 Aboriginal Health and #Racism : NACCHO submission to #SavetheRDA #18C Inquiry into #Freedomofspeech

Download our full submission here

submission-to-inquiry-into-freedom-of-speech-and-rda-draft

Over 5 years we have NACCHO has published over 70 artiicles

Aboriginal health and Racism

Australians believe 18C protections should stay

A parliamentary inquiry into 18C is moving towards its climax, with the committee due to report by February 28. It has been a mammoth task for the committee members, with thousands of submissions and dozens of witnesses.

Section 18C makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate someone on the basis of race and culture. It has been under attack from conservative commentators and politicians after News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt was found to have breached 18C without an acceptable defence under the related Section 18D.

In the 2013 election, then prime minister Tony Abbott pledged to get rid of the section. Attorney-General George Brandis attempted to do this in 2014. A strong push-back by community groups forced Abbott to abandon the changes.

After the 2016 election, conservatives such as Cory Bernardi, in tandem with the Institute for Public Affairs, reactivated the campaign to remove section 18C, though limiting their reach to excising the words “insult” and “offend”.

As we reported on February 1, the “truth” about what Australians think of and want to happen with 18C has been a matter of critical interest. The Australian newspaper has been a sustained campaigner for removing 18C. It argues the law is too great a threat to freedom of speech.

CRaCR commissioned Essential to include four questions in its February 8 omnibus poll. We asked whether people agreed or disagreed with the propositions that “people should be free to offend/ insult/ humiliate/ intimidate someone on the basis of their race, culture or religion”. The finding is that Australians do not support this proposition. Only 5 to 10% champion such “freedoms”.

Our simple question formats eschewed any prelude points concerning “competing freedoms” or double-barrel questions as in the Galaxy poll.

After we gave evidence to the parliamentary inquiry, and were questioned on the apparently conflicting findings, we set out to generate transparent and valid data. We developed a simple test to discover the extent to which Australians believe that people should be free to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate others on the basis of race, culture or religion. This would be the consequence of removing Section 18.

Our research in 2014 asked if people thought it should be unlawful to do what 18C covered. On the insult and offend questions, support for the law was 72% and 66%, while on humiliate and intimidate it rose to 74% and 79%. The IPA claimed since then there had been a major shift towards accepting the removal of these first two conditions of vilification.

Our new research demonstrates this is not the case. Our Essential sample was representative (by age, gender, region and so on).

Our four questions were aimed to test whether people supported removing insult and offend from 18C. We found that Australians have increased their support for protections from insulting and offensive attacks on the basis of race, culture and religion.


 


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Only 5 to 10% of Australians support the right to offend on the basis of race, culture or religion. Those who are younger, and males, are more likely to support these freedoms.

In our other surveys over the past decade, we have found that about the same proportion of Australians (one in ten) hold negative views about diversity and “races”. For example, around 10-12% believe that some races are superior to others, and that groups should not intermarry. These are indicators of racial supremacism and racial separatism.

There may well be those who support these freedoms from a Voltaire-inspired conviction about the right to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate. However, analysis of the 2014 CRaCR survey data has found statistical associations between authors of online racism, racist dispositions and a preference for the freedom to offend. Authors of racism, with racist views, most want the right to be racist.

The political implications are also of interest. Focusing just on “offend” and “insult”, the spread confirms that the left of the political spectrum is more opposed to licensing hate than the right.

Support for the freedom to offend ranges from 7% (ALP and Greens) to 11% (LNP) and up to 16% with Others and Independents. Opposition to the freedom to offend peaks with the Greens (86%), but still sits at 70% for Independents.

Support for the freedom to insult ranges from 5% (ALP) and 8% (Greens) to 12% (LNP) and up to 13% with Others and Independents. Opposition to the freedom to insult peaks with the Greens (88%), but still sits at 72% for Independents.

This evidence suggests that over the past three years, despite incessant campaigning by pro-vilification proponents, Australians’ appetite for the “right to be bigots” has declined.

The impression we gain is that civility remains a high value. Whatever peoples’ valuing of freedom of speech, which is very high, they do not think that such a freedom should encompass the insulting and offending of people on the basis of race, culture or religion.

Moreover, this trend reverberates with the finding of another Essential poll in late 2016, where Australians worry that insulting people on the basis of race and religion is rising.

Now it’s over to the committee, parliament and the people

savetherda

NACCHO Aboriginal #EyeHealth : 10 Recommendations to improve eye health services in remote Aboriginal communities.

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” According to data from the 2016 National Eye Health Survey (NEHS), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have a greater burden of eye disease, with three times the rate of blindness and three times the rate of vision loss than the non-Indigenous population.[1] Uncorrected refractive error causes almost two thirds of vision impairment, and cataract is the leading cause of blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Vision 2020 Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide comment to the Productivity Commission (the Commission) regarding its Inquiry into introducing competition and informed user choice into human services (the Inquiry).

Download this full submission here :

vision-2020-australia_productivity-commission_reforms-to-human-services_feb17_final-rtf

Vision 2020 Australia’s response to the Inquiry predominantly relates to improving outcomes in relation to eye health services provided in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Additionally, almost 40 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who need cataract surgery have not accessed specialised treatment services (compared to 13 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians), and approximately half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants with diabetes were found not to be having an eye examination at the frequency recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The eye health and vision care sector supports the principle put forward by the Australian Government that refers to introducing informed user choice in these communities. However, the sector has identified a number of challenges posed by the principle of introducing competition in the provision of eye health services in remote communities; due to issues such as the fragmented or duplicated delivery of these services.

In the following submission, Vision 2020 Australia outlines ten recommendations which, if implemented fully, would ensure that eye health and vision care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are improved through better access to effective and reliable services.

Note all 10 recommendation are in this submissions

Recommendation 8

That ACCHOs are offered fair opportunities to compete with non-Indigenous health organisations during competitive tendering processes.

Vision 2020 Australia notes that, in the context of eye health in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, reforms intended to introduce greater user choice and competition do not necessarily result in positive outcomes. For example, in remote areas, increased competition when providing outreach services can in some cases lead to fragmented service coordination. Vision 2020 Australia therefore contends that mechanisms and approaches to introduce greater competition, contestability and user choice need to be carefully considered.

In remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities delivering services collaboratively and in partnership with ACCHOs, and ensuring that the communities are consulted and involved in the design of policies and programs that impact them, is integral.

Furthermore, Vision 2020 Australia notes that the 2015 Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee inquiry into the impact on service quality, efficiency and sustainability of the Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy tendering found that competitive tender processes disadvantage ACCHOs and do not fully take into account their value and expertise.[1] It is therefore vital that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are offered fair opportunities to compete with non-Indigenous organisations.

[1] “Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy tendering processes,” Parliament of Australia, accessed February 14, 2017. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Finance_and_Public_Administration/Commonwealth_Indigenous.

Vision 2020 Australia

Vision 2020 Australia is the peak body for the eye health and vision care sector, representing around 50 member organisations involved in: local and global eye care; health promotion; low vision support; vision rehabilitation; eye research; professional assistance and community support.

This submission has been developed in collaboration with the Vision 2020 Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee (the Committee).

The Committee provides a platform for members to collaborate and shape the direction of Vision 2020 Australia’s systemic advocacy related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health and vision care.

The Committee supports and promotes The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision (the Roadmap), developed by Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne, and works closely with the National Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and its affiliates to ensure its strategies are consistent with priorities identified by Aboriginal Medical Services providers in States and Territories.[2]

Vision 2020 Australia supports the submissions put forward by our member organisations, namely Indigenous Eye Health and The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Vision 2020 Australia notes that, in the context of eye health in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, reforms intended to introduce greater user choice and competition do not necessarily result in positive outcomes

. For example, in remote areas, increased competition when providing outreach services can in some cases lead to fragmented service coordination. Vision 2020 Australia therefore contends that mechanisms and approaches to introduce greater competition, contestability and user choice need to be carefully considered.

In remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities delivering services collaboratively and in partnership with ACCHOs, and ensuring that the communities are consulted and involved in the design of policies and programs that impact them, is integral.

Furthermore, Vision 2020 Australia notes that the 2015 Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee inquiry into the impact on service quality, efficiency and sustainability of the Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy tendering found that competitive tender processes disadvantage ACCHOs and do not fully take into account their value and expertise.[1] It is therefore vital that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations are offered fair opportunities to compete with non-Indigenous organisations.

[1] “Commonwealth Indigenous Advancement Strategy tendering processes,” Parliament of Australia, accessed February 14, 2017. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Finance_and_Public_Administration/Commonwealth_Indigenous.

Summary of recommendations

Vision 2020 Australia has ten recommendations which, if implemented fully, would ensure that eye health and vision care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are improved through the provision of better access to effective and reliable services.

Recommendation 1
That the Australian Government allocates additional funding to address existing barriers to accessing specialist eye health services in rural and remote areas.
Recommendation 2
That the Australian Government undertakes capacity building for ophthalmic telehealth services.
Recommendation 3
That the Australian Government modifies existing IT infrastructure in remote facilities catering to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to facilitate efficient and effective telehealth services.
Recommendation 4
That the Australian Government facilitates the introduction of electronic patient record systems targeted for use in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with linkages to the broader health system.
Recommendation 5
That the Australian Government provides funding for additional staff trained in the provision of eye health services for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Recommendation 6
That the Australian Government regularly reviews and provides ongoing funding to the Visiting Optometrists Scheme (VOS).
Recommendation 7
That Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are consulted and involved in the design of policies and programs that impact them.
Recommendation 8
That ACCHOs are offered fair opportunities to compete with non-Indigenous health organisations during competitive tendering processes.
Recommendation 9
That governments ensure that the Aboriginal community controlled sector is a key player in the delivery of culturally safe health services.
Recommendation 10
That services provided to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are integrated and coordinated so as to ensure an effective patient pathway where comorbidities can be effectively assessed and treated.

 

[1] Foreman, J., et al, 2016, The National Eye Health Survey Report 2016, The Centre for Eye Research Australia and Vision 2020 Australia, Melbourne.

[2] Taylor HR, Anjou MD, Boudville AI, McNeil RJ, 2013, The Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision, Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population Health,The University of Melbourne

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #obesity : What is the #sugartax and who reckons it’s a good idea?

obesity
 ” JUNK food would be banned from schools and sports venues, and a sugar drink tax introduced, under a new blueprint to trim the nation’s waistline.

The 47-point blueprint also includes a crackdown on using junk food vouchers as rewards for sporting performance and for fundraising.

State governments would be compelled to improve the healthiness of foods in settings controlled by them like hospitals, workplaces and government events.

And they would have to change urban planning rules to restrict unhealthy food venues and make more space for healthy food outlets. “

Download the 47-point blueprint Report here :

aust-summary-food-epi-report

 ama

 NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Obesity #junkfood : 47 point plan to control weight problem that costs $56 billion per year

 

” In 2014-15, 63.4% of Australian adults were found by the National Health Survey to be overweight or obese. In response to Australia climbing up the ladder of the most obese countries in the world, professor Stephen Colagiuri, a diabetes expert at the University of Sydney, has urged the government to introduce a sugar tax to dissuade people from consuming sugary foods.”

Sophie Heizer Crikey intern

But what if you live in a place where you don’t have easy access to fresh food? What if the Macca’s down the road is within walking distance, but you have to jump in the car and drive for miles to get to the nearest supermarket? That’s called a food desert, and the sugar tax could have a bigger impact on people who live in those areas.

What is the sugar tax?

At this point, it is a recommendation from some health experts, which would place a levy on sugary drinks in order to mitigate obesity rates.

A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) says that a tax of 20% or more results in the drop of soft drink sales, which they say would also cut healthcare costs if it succeeded in improving health outcomes.

The Grattan Institute has suggested a tax of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar, and calculated that obesity costs Australians $5.3 billion a year. The savings they have projected would mean an extra $500 million for the budget.

Is there support for the sugar tax?

The WHO called for a tax on sugary drinks across the world in October 2016 to curb the effects of sugary drinks on health.

Many health researchers also advocate for the tax as well. Dr Belinda Reeve from the University of Sydney writes that there needs to be more things done at the same time to reduce obesity rates and the risk of diabetes, but the tax could be effective in Australia, as the tobacco tax has been.

The Greens have released a statement saying that if the government doesn’t act on the issue, they will draft a private senator’s bill and introduce it to the Senate by the end of 2017.

Who is against it?

The Turnbull government, Labor, and senators Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch have all rejected the idea of imposing a sugar tax.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt has said the government was taking action in other ways: “We’re committed to tackling obesity, but increasing the family’s weekly shop at the supermarket isn’t the answer.”

Pauline Hanson said she would not support the tax because she believes it’s high time people take responsibility for what they put in their mouths, and Derryn Hinch said the tax would be unfair and unworkable.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the opposition had no plans for a sugar tax, but said it was probably time to “toughen up advertising restrictions around junk food at peak periods when the little eyeballs are on the TV and getting all the wrong messages about food and healthy eating”.

What is a food desert?

A food desert is an area where there are no fresh fruit or vegetable outlets within a 500-metre radius. They are also defined by limited access to shops that sell healthy foods, coupled with an abundance of fast-food takeaway options within easy walking distance. These areas leave people disenfranchised by lack of access to affordable, healthy food and at a greater risk of obesity and the development of diabetes.

There have been a number of food deserts identified in Australia: Braybrook, Maidstone and West Footscray/Kingsville have been identified in Victoria, areas of western Sydney including Blacktown (where residents are three times more likely to develop diabetes) and Mount Druitt and even in wealthy areas of Canberra. Research commissioned by Anglicare and Red Cross showed that there was insufficient access to affordable and nutritionally adequate food in inner suburbs such as Kingston, Red Hill and Fyshwick, as well as Narrabundah Longstay Caravan Park, Belconnen, Weston Creek and newer suburbs in the Gungahlin region.

How would the sugar tax affect people living in food deserts?

The same kind of sugar tax was proposed in the UK. It was met with heavy resistance from the seemingly conservative lobby group, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which cited the ineffectiveness of the tax in Mexico, the chief executive stating:

“It is astonishing that the government is pressing ahead with this pernicious tax when the evidence clearly suggests that it will simply not affect consumption in any meaningful way. As with any regressive tax, this will only raise living costs for hard-pressed families, already struggling with big tax bills. Politicians must look at the evidence and ignore the High Priests of the Nanny State in the public health lobby, and abolish the Sugar Tax before it is too late.”

Food deserts are, in particular, an issue for people of low socio-economic status (SES) and where there are people with mobility issues in the community. The tax will undeniably hit the poor and those living in food deserts harder because more of their income goes towards poor quality food, but there is evidence from studying the effectiveness of the tax in Mexico that it does decrease spending on unhealthy food products for everyone.

A research paper by PLOS One, which also supports the 20% hike in tax on sugar, states:

“We note that Australians of low SES are disproportionately affected by high rates of diet-related illnesses and are therefore likely to experience greater dietary improvements as a result of a tax on SSBs. Inequitable aspects are likely to be further ameliorated if revenue was used to support healthy eating initiatives and subsidies on healthy foods for low-SES households.”

This means the sugar tax could actually be beneficial to low-SES households in food deserts, as a result of both a shift in eating habits, and a freeing up of space in the health budget to rectify access issues in relation to cost and geography.

NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health @KenwyattMP Part 2 of 2 #ACCHO Providers who will be delivering the Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services are:

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” The $27 million would be invested over the next 18 months in Primary Health Care services and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program.

These services include: comprehensive primary health care; antenatal and postnatal care; information about baby care; assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting; monitoring developmental milestones, immunisation status and infections; and health checks and referrals for treatment for Indigenous children before starting school.”

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP

See list below that includes many of our ACCHO member

naccho

NACCHO welcomes $27 million for early childhood health

The peak body for Aboriginal controlled community health organisations today welcomed an extra $27 million over the next 18 months for programs to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Strait Islander children and mothers.

The funding announced by Indigenous Health Minister, Ken Wyatt, will be provided to 18 medical services in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair, Matthew Cooke, welcomed the Minister’s announcement that Aboriginal medical services would receive most of the additional funding.

Mr Cooke said funding indigenous led solutions was critical to making significant gains in closing the indigenous health gap, including reversing the slide in infant mortality rates highlighted in last week’s Closing the Gap report.

“Maternal and early childhood health programs that are culturally appropriate, co-ordinated and delivered by Aboriginal health professionals working on the ground in local communities are essential to giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children the best possible start in life,” Mr Cooke said.

“This announcement will fund services such as antenatal and postnatal care, information about baby care, support for breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting, monitoring milestones, immunisation and health checks to make sure children are healthy and ready to learn when they start school.

“This funding is an encouraging and welcome sign that the government has listened to Aboriginal people over the last week and recognises that we must be equal partners in addressing issues that affect our communities.”

The new funding will be invested under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program.

Aboriginal controlled community health organisations that will receive the new funding include:

  • Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Coprporation (NSW
  • Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation (NSW)
  • Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd (NSW)
  • Mt Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Ltd (QLD)
  • Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health Service (QLD)
  • Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre (QLD)
  • South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAS)
  • Tasmania Aboriginal Centre (TAS)
  • Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Corporation (WA)
  • GP Down South Ltd (WA)

Minister’s Press Release

New funding of $27m for child and maternal health programs and primary health care will help keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children healthy and ready to learn when they start school and ensure they are properly immunized.

“These targeted grants will help improve the health and life expectancy, as well as early childhood health and development, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through better access to effective and high-quality health services,” Mr Wyatt said.

“The health providers will be delivering services in culturally-appropriate ways.

“This is in addition to our 2014-15 Budget announcement of $54 million over three years to 2018 for an additional 51 New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services sites to improve child and maternal health.

“Together, this represents a significant investment in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.”

PDF printable version of $27 million for better Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes – PDF 254 KB

The providers who will be delivering the Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services are:

State Region Successful applicant/s
NSW North Coast Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation – Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service
Hunter New England and Central Coast Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation – Primary Health Care

New England North West Health Ltd (HealthWISE New England North West) – Primary Health Care

Hunter New England Local Health District (Tamworth Nundle Community Health Service) – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service

Western NSW Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Limited (Brewarrina AHS) – Primary Health Care
South Eastern NSW Grand Pacific Health Limited (Grand Pacific Health NSW) – Primary Health Care
Qld Western Queensland Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Limited (Gidgee Healing) – Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service
Northern Queensland Queensland Health Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (Community Health Mossman) – Primary Health Care

Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health Service – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service

Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre – Primary Health Care

Tas North Western Tasmania Rural Health Tasmania Inc. – Primary Health Care and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service
Southern Tasmania South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation – New Directions: Mothers and Babies Service

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre – Primary Health Care

WA Perth South Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Corporation – Primary Health Care

GP Down South Ltd (Down South and Nidjalla Waangan Mia) – Primary Health Care

Arche Health Limited (Perth South WA) –
Primary Health Care

Country WA WA Country Health Service (Great Southern Aboriginal Health Service and
Wheatbelt Aboriginal Health Service) – Primary Health CareBoab Health Services Pty Ltd – Primary Health Care

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health supports the @Lungfoundation first ever Australia-wide #Indigenous Lung Health Checklist

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 ” Lung Foundation Australia in collaboration with the Queensland Government’s Indigenous Respiratory Outreach Care Program (IROC) have developed the Checklist specifically for the Indigenous community.

It only takes a few minutes to answer 8 questions that could save your or a loved one’s life.

It can be completed on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

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The Indigenous Lung Health Checklist is narrated by the Lung Foundation’s Ambassador and Olympic Legend Cathy Freeman.

Read or Download the PDF Brochure

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Please go to the site as Indigenous peoples are almost twice as likely to die from a lung-related condition than non-Indigenous Australians.

# Indigenous Lung Health Checklist at

http://indigenouslungscheck.lungfoundation.com.au/.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health debate 2 of 3 : Prime Minister’s Parliament speech ” We must embark on a new approach to #closingthegap on Indigenous disadvantage.

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“ The national interest requires a re-commitment to the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  But there can be no relationship without partnership.

And there can be no partnership without participation—we heard that very eloquently this morning at the Redfern Statement breakfast.

I firmly believe that people must be involved in the process in order to be engaged in the outcomes. It has to be a shared endeavour;

Health

We have made great gains in improving the key factors that influence the health of Indigenous children. But we are also reminded of the fragility of life, and the heavy burden of responsibility of families, communities and governments. I am very saddened and disappointed that the target to halve the gap in Indigenous child mortality is not on track, with the 2015 data being just outside the target.

We must redouble our efforts to reduce smoking rates during pregnancy, continue to improve immunisation rates, lift rates of antenatal care, reduce fetal trauma, and keep our children safe. Rates of attending antenatal care in the important first trimester are highest in outer regional areas and lowest in major cities.

Ken Wyatt as the Minister for Indigenous Health, a field in which he has had many decades of experience, will work wisely and collaboratively with our state and territory counterparts, and the community health sector, to get this target back on track.

We have seen improvements in reducing mortality from chronic diseases; however, the mortality rates from cancer are rising. The overall mortality rate has declined by 15 per cent since 1998, and life expectancy is increasing. However, it is not accelerating at the pace it should and, therefore, as in previous years, this target is not on track. “

CLOSING THE GAP Report 2017 Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (12:01): Yanggu gulanyin ngalawiri, dhunayi, Ngunawal dhawra. Wanggarralijinyin mariny bulan bugarabang.

Download the Prime Minister Closing the Gap Report Here

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NACCHO Response Press Release

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report

Read or Download all a copy of all speeches

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Please note

NACCHO will be publishing Bill Shortens #closingthegap speech Tuesday 21 February

Today, we are meeting together on Ngunawal land and we acknowledge and pay our respects to their elders past and present. And we pay our deep respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people gathered here today—including our Aboriginal members of parliament—and all across Australia, who have been the custodians of these lands and whose elders hold the knowledge of their rich and diverse cultures.

I also welcome the first ministers and their representatives from the states and territories who have gathered with us today to demonstrate that the responsibility—indeed, the opportunity—for closing the gap in partnership with our communities rests with all levels of government and with all Australians

The lives, the occupations and the dreams of Aboriginal and Torres Islander Australians are as diverse as those of all other Australians and stretch across this vast land, from the most remote communities to the heart of our capitals, to our national parliament.

Our First Australians are showing that they can do anything, as they inspire us with their resilience, their courage and their enterprise.

Last year, Chris Sarra proposed three principles that would help make a difference in Indigenous policy. He said: ‘Do things with us, not to us, bring us policy approaches that nurture hope and optimism, and acknowledge, embrace and celebrate the humanity of Indigenous Australia.’

I am pleased that Chris has agreed to join the new Indigenous Advisory Council, along with Andrea Mason, Susan Murphy, Ngiare Brown, Roy Ah-See and Djambawa Marawili. And I want to thank Warren Mundine and the retiring members for their work.

Nothing brought a quiet moment of humanity to the 2016 election campaign more than the handing of the title deeds to Belyuen elder Raylene Singh, 37 years after the Larrakia people submitted a claim to what had always been theirs. For families like Raylene’s, despite their old people passing on before the Kenbi land claim was settled, the past continues to live in the present.

Acknowledging past wrongs enables healing to begin. We saw that with the National Apology to the Stolen Generations—delivered by Prime Minister Rudd, who also joins us today—and the ninth anniversary of that moment in history was recognised yesterday here in the House. Acknowledgement requires the humility of acceptance of the truth.

On that hot, dry day on the shores of the Cox Peninsula in Darwin, we acknowledged that the Larrakia people had cared for their country for tens of thousands of years, that their songs had been sung since time out of mind, and that those songs held and passed on the knowledge of Larrakia customs and traditions.

Acknowledgement is the seed from which hope and healing grow. It is that acknowledgement that 50 years ago saw the Australian people vote overwhelmingly to change our Constitution so that the Commonwealth could assume powers in relation to our First Australians. And while many issues divide us in this place, we are united in our determination to ensure that our Constitution is amended once again to recognise our First Australians. Changing the Constitution is neither easy nor a task for the faint hearted.

The Referendum Council will conclude its consultations this year so that then parliament can complete the work of formulating and presenting the recognition amendments.

The success of the 1967 referendum also meant that First Australians were counted equally in our official population alongside all other others in the census. This provided our first understanding of the survival and the resilience of our Indigenous peoples, but also the depth of that gap between their situation and that of other Australians.

The leaders of those times challenged us to think well past statistics: the Freedom Riders like Charles Perkins; Vincent Lingiari and his fellow workers at the Wave Hill ‘walk-off’; and Eddie Mabo and his fight for native title. Theirs are the shoulders among many upon which a new generation of Indigenous leaders stand today.

And last night the Prime Minister’s courtyard was abuzz with enthusiasm, with positivity and with the hope of leaders challenging us to again think past the statistics. Bright, determined women and men stood tall as successful people in their fields of work, proud of their heritage and anchored in their culture.

While we must accelerate progress and close the gap, we must also tell the broader story of Indigenous Australia, not of despondency but of a relentless and determined optimism; that being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander means to succeed, to achieve, to have big dreams and high hopes, and to draw strength from your identity as an Indigenous person in this country.

As Prime Minister, I will continue to tell these stories, to talk about the strengths of our First Australians.

We have among us five Indigenous members of parliament, who bring the same pride, the same strength, here to our democracy: Ken Wyatt, the first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives, and now the first Indigenous minister to be appointed in a Commonwealth government; as well as Linda Burney, Senator Pat Dodson, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Yet, even with the determination of our First Australians to create a better future, even with successive Commonwealth and state governments investing more resources and even with tens of thousands of dedicated Australians seeking to contribute and engage, we still are not making enough progress.

We have come a long way since the referendum, but we have not come far enough. I present today to the parliament and to the people of Australia the ninth Closing the Gap report. This report demonstrates that all Australian governments have much more work to do.

The proportion of Indigenous 20- to 24-year-olds who has achieved year 12 or equivalent is 61.5 per cent—up from 45.4 per cent in 2008. This target is on track to halve the gap. A new target for Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education is 95 per cent by 2025. The data shows that in 2015, 87 per cent of all Indigenous children were enrolled in early childhood education the year before full-time school.

We have seen improvements in reading and numeracy for Indigenous students but this target is not on track. Last year, 640 more children needed to read at the year 3 benchmark to halve the gap. This year, that figure is around 440. The literacy gap is narrowing and achievable, and through the individualised learning plans agreed at COAG, first ministers have committed to improve these results.

The national school attendance is also not on track. Around 20 per cent of the gap in school performance between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students can be explained by poor attendance. But there are examples of real progress with families and communities.

In the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, the APY Lands, principal Matt Greene spoke to me of the fierce rivalry in community football. But he said he was more interested and focused on the fierce rivalry to attain school attendance targets. And with the help of our Remote School Attendance Strategy, championed by Minister Nigel Scullion, Matt is driving cultural change in Fregon. The strategy is working. RSAS schools showed a higher attendance rate in 2016 compared to 2013.

The employment target is not on track either, but 57.5 per cent of those living in major cities are employed. Five thousand Indigenous job seekers have been placed in to real jobs through our Vocational Training and Employment Centres network. Almost 500 Indigenous businesses were awarded more than $284 million in Commonwealth contracts thanks to our Indigenous Procurement Policy. I want to thank state and territory governments for agreeing to explore similar procurement policies to help the Indigenous business sector thrive.

Mr Speaker, a telling point: the data tells us there is no employment gap between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians with a university degree—a reminder of the central importance of education.

If we look at the long-term intergenerational trends, we see that Indigenous life expectancy is increasing, babies are being born healthier, more people are studying and gaining post-school qualifications and those adults are participating in work. These are achievements that families, elders and communities can be proud of.

But incarceration rates and rates of child protection are too high. Sixty-three per cent of Indigenous people incarcerated last year were in prison for violent offences and offences that cause harm. Central to reducing incarceration is reducing the violence and, of course, protecting the victims of violence.

Our Third Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children includes measures to support Indigenous victims, and stop the cycle of reoffending.

Our Prison to Work report commissioned in last year’s Closing The Gap speech has since been delivered, and adopted by COAG. Working in partnership with Kuku Yalanji man, Jeremey Donovan, we have gained important insights into the cycle of incarceration. In response, COAG agreed to better coordination of government services especially in-prison training and rehabilitation, employment, health and social services.

Children should always be treated humanely and with love, especially when they are in custody. The confronting and appalling images of children shackled and in spit hoods shocked our nation, and as Prime Minister I acted swiftly.

While the work of the royal commission into juvenile justice and child protection continues, governments across Australia are taking steps to ensure children are always treated appropriately.

To provide independent oversight, this government will ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

I am pleased to inform the House that Bunuba woman, June Oscar AO, has been appointed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. The first woman to take on this role.

June brings tremendous knowledge, and has been a formidable campaigner against alcohol abuse, shining a light on the devastating consequences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

The issues are complex, and, as we know, the solutions are not simple.

Indigenous Affairs is an intricate public policy area. It requires uncompromised collaboration with Indigenous people, and national leadership. And it needs buy-in from states, communities and most importantly families.

I am pleased that COAG has agreed to progress renewed targets in the year ahead, and I invite the opposition and the crossbench to participate, particularly the Indigenous members of parliament.

The national interest requires a re-commitment to the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

But there can be no relationship without partnership.

And there can be no partnership without participation—we heard that very eloquently this morning at the Redfern Statement breakfast.

I firmly believe that people must be involved in the process in order to be engaged in the outcomes. It has to be a shared endeavour.

Greater empowerment of local communities will deliver the shared outcomes we all seek.

The government is reforming the way the Indigenous Affairs portfolio operates—moving from transactional government, to enablement, from paying for services to linking funding to outcomes, and from a one-size-fits-all mindset for program design, to local solutions.

Indigenous families and communities must be at the centre of this approach.

We have started the journey, but there is much more work to do.

I welcome Professor Ian Anderson into my department who will play an important role in leading this new way of working, along with people like Anne-Marie Roberts, who leads a team of passionate and committed staff working in communities across the nation.

The Indigenous-led Empowered Communities model is now in eight regions across the country. I met their leaders last month, and it is clear this approach is generating strong Indigenous governance, and empowering Indigenous people to partner with government and companies.

These models, and others such as Murdi Paaki in Western New South Wales, and Ceduna in South Australia, are being driven by local Indigenous leaders.

Where communities are ready, we will work with them to build capacity and ensure more responsibility for decision making rests as close to the community as possible.

My confidence comes from seeing firsthand how this approach is working at the community level.

I have met mothers, like Norma and Lena from Western Australia, who have lost children to suicide. These women have bravely shared their stories, working tirelessly with leaders like Pat Dudgeon, Gerry Georgatos and Adele Cox to find locally-driven solutions.

I met Corey McLennan, and the leaders of Ceduna and the Far West Coast as well as Ian Trust from the Kimberley, who have co-designed the trial of the new Cashless Debit Card with the government.

We hosted Charlie King and the No More campaign to end violence against women. In an historic display of support parliamentarians—all of us—linked arms and walked with Charlie to end this scourge of violence against women.

And I could tell dozens more stories of self-reliance from Fregon, Redfern, La Perouse, Scotdesco, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth—it is a very long list, as we know.

We can learn as much from these successes, as we can from the failures.

But, to do so we must have a rigorous evaluation of programs so we know what is working and what is not.

We will expand the Productivity Commission to include a new Indigenous Commissioner to lead the commission’s work of policy evaluation.

And the government will invest $50 million for research into policy and its implementation; this will be designed in partnership and with the guidance of the Indigenous Advisory Council.

So much is published about Indigenous communities and, as many Indigenous Australians have said to me, not nearly enough is published for Indigenous communities.

So the data and research we have, and the evidence we need to build, will be made available to Indigenous communities to empower leadership and support community-led programs. It will assist government in its next phase of Closing The Gap, which must focus on regional action and outcomes.

And I ask that you seek out people like those I had the honour of addressing last night—everyday Indigenous Australians achieving extraordinary things.

Like the Kongs—a family of firsts. Marilyn and Marlene were the first Indigenous medical graduates at Sydney University. Marlene became a GP and public health expert; Marilyn became the first Indigenous obstetrician and their brother Kelvin, the first Indigenous surgeon in Australia.

I ask that we share these stories and those of the entrepreneurs, lawyers, the scientists, the teachers, the nurses, the servicemen and servicewomen, the social service workers, the writers, the accountants, the public servants, and the ministers, members and senators. Again, their callings and achievements are as diverse, as magnificent and as inspiring as those of other Australians.

Let us tell the stories of Indigenous achievement and hard work, because those stories are true markers of progress. They inspire and encourage and they make a difference. This parliament has the opportunity, using the knowledge and wisdom of Indigenous people, to embark on a new approach to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

My government will not shy away from our responsibility and we will uphold the priorities of education, employment, health and the right of all people to be safe from family violence. We will not waver in our quest to achieve these outcomes, but we will have the humility to admit that we must travel this road together, with open hearts and a determination to ensure that our First Australians and all Australians will be able here, more than anywhere, to be their best and realise their dreams.

Next Aboriginal Health Newspaper closing in the next few weeks

24 Pages lift out Koori Mail 5 April

Info and bookings

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NACCHO CEO Press Release #ClosingtheGap : Aboriginal led solutions the key to closing the health gap #Redfernstatement

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The Prime Minister committed to working with our people this morning and from this date on we expect nothing less,

For NACCHO the acceptance that our Aboriginal controlled health services deliver the best model of integrated primary health care in Australia is a clear demonstration that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person should have ready access to these services, no matter where they live.

We can more than double the current 140 Aboriginal medical services that will improve health outcomes.”

NACCHO  CEO  Pat Turner Press Release : 

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten receive the Redfern statement, a blueprint for improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, before the release of the Closing the Gap report. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

Download :  naccho-1702-mr-naccho-response-to-closing-the-gap

ICYMI Todays other NACCHO posts below

NACCHO Aboriginal Health download the #ClosingtheGap report #Redfernstatement Post 4 of 5

Today’s Closing the Gap Report demonstrates the need to more than double the network and reach of Aboriginal controlled medical services to Close the Gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

National Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), CEO, Pat Turner, said despite some improvement in education outcomes, only one out of seven Closing the Gap targets is on track ( see ABC link below )

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The 9th Closing the Gap Report shows there have been small improvements over time in some areas of health but we are not on track to Close the Gap in average life expectancy and the gap in deaths from cancer is widening.

“Governments at all levels need to make a massive long term investment to redress the social and cultural determinants of health, which are responsible for more than 30 per cent of ill health in our communities.

“Early childhood education delivered in a culturally respectful manner by our own people, trained to work locally in their communities must be a priority.”

Ms Turner said current Commonwealth Government policies remain disconnected and siloed.

“In 2017 we need to see greater connectivity across all government portfolios at the Ministerial and departmental levels and more accountability from state and territory governments for the funding they receive to improve the lives of Aboriginal people.

“In every jurisdiction we see inconsistent data collection.  In 2017, with such innovative information technology available, all governments should implement open, transparent, consistent data collection and reporting to ensure their accountability to the Australian people at large.

“NACHHO stands ready, willing and able to work with everyone to negotiate better solutions to public policy and program investments that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people”

redfern-statement-logo-2017

 

ICYMI todays posts

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Redfernstatement 1 of 5 posts : PM to release #closingthegap report today

NACCHO #closingtheGap Aboriginal Health and the #Redfernstatement Its time for this new approach

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Redfernstatement #closingtheGap Post 3 of 5 : New relationship with government is desperately needed

NACCHO Aboriginal Health download the #ClosingtheGap report #Redfernstatement Post 4 of 5

NACCHO SNAPSHOT progress Against Health Targets:

We are not on track to close the gap in life expectancy by 2031.

Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined significantly by 15 per cent since 1998.

There have been significant improvements in the Indigenous mortality rate from chronic diseases, particularly from circulatory diseases (the leading cause of death) since 1998.

However, Indigenous mortality rates from cancer (second leading cause of death) are rising and the gap is widening.

There have been improvements in health care access and reductions in smoking which should contribute to long-term improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Working collaboratively across governments, the health sector and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on local and regional responses is central to the Government’s approach to improve life expectancy.

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See ABC Website for all Targets

Indigenous Australians don’t live as long as other Australians. Their children are more likely to die as infants. And their health, education and employment outcomes are worse than non-Indigenous people.

Australia has promised to close this gap on health, education and employment. But a new report card finds we are failing on six out of seven key measures.

Target: To close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation (by 2031).

  • Progress: Indigenous Australians die about 10 years younger than non Indigenous Australians, and that hasn’t changed significantly.
  • With increasing life expectancy in the non-Indigenous population, to close the gap “Indigenous life expectancy would need to increase by 16 years and 21 years for females and males respectively”.
  • That means gains of at least 0.6 years per annum, but in the five years to 2012 there was only a gain of 0.8 years for men and 0.1 for women — a fraction of what is needed.
  • The mortality rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people in a year) for Aboriginal people is 1.7 times that of the Australian population, and that hasn’t changed since 1998.

Target: To halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018).

  • Progress: There has been no significant decline in child mortality rates since 2008, and child mortality rates actually increased slightly from 2014 to 2015.
  • In 2015, there were 124 Indigenous child deaths. This was four deaths outside the range of the target and an increase of six deaths since 2014.
  • Between 2011 and 2014 Indigenous children aged 0-4 were more than twice as likely to die than non-Indigenous children.

Advertising and editorial wanted for the April 5  #Closingthegap  #Redfernstatement edition ?

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NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?

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While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #Redfernstatement 1 of 5 posts : PM to release #closingthegap report today

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NACCHO schedule of todays Redfern Statement and PM Closing the Gap report  releases

  1. The Australian Closing the Gap coverage released 6.00am
  2. Redfern Statement Breakfast launch Parliament House : Press Release 7.30am
  3. Redfern Statement New Relationships with government released + video  8.30 am
  4. PM Closing the Gap Report to Parliament Released 12.05 pm
  5. Responses to report from other sources from 2.00 pm

Photo above  : From the heart of govt, Indigenous staff met  last night  ahead of the 2017 Report

 ” According to The Australian Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a bleak ninth annual Closing the Gap report today, with an ­acknowledgment that efforts to reduce indigenous disadvantage remain starkly inadequate.

The report follows a succession of independent surveys critical of the government’s ­approach to indigenous affairs. And it comes as Kevin Rudd, who delivered the inaugural 2008 report, gave an address in Canberra last night in which he described the yearly review as “a political disaster for the government of the day, for governments of whichever political persuasion”.

Attempting to limit the scale of that disaster, the Prime Minister refused to release any advance detail of the report other than a general admission of there being insufficient progress.

Last year’s report found just two of seven targets on track: child mortality and Year 12 attainment. Another target, early ­education (“95 per cent of all indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025”) was reported on for the first time last year.

Today’s report will show improvements in the proportion of indigenous 20 to 24-year-olds achieving Year 12 or equivalent, improvements in health, and reading and numeracy advances.

However, Mr Turnbull is expected to emphasise in his speech to parliament the importance of better research and evaluation of Closing the Gap criteria, and may announce details of a “refresh” of the exercise already under discussion by the Council of Australian Governments.

He will also likely emphasise programs such as Empowered Communities, a detailed rethink of how indigenous policy is enacted which has yet to win full government support. It is designed to put Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the centre of regional decision-making.

Recent Productivity Commission and National Audit Office reports have been either gloomy about indigenous affairs or critical of government policy. The Audit Office’s review this month of the Abbott government’s 2014 landmark $4.8 billion Indigenous ­Affairs Strategy found policy had been poorly conceived and ­hastily implemented.

Funding allocations under the system had also been unpredictable and opaque, leaving some of the very organisations contributing to Closing the Gap outcomes unable to function properly.

In November, the Productivity Commission reported alarming increases in imprisonment rates, mental health problems and self-harm. It found only 34 of 1000 indigenous programs, worth a total $5.9bn, had been properly evaluated. While there were ­improvements in child mortality rates, educational outcomes and household income, rates of community violence were unchanged.

Speaking at the Australian National University last night on the ninth anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations, Mr Rudd said the indigenous child removal rates must be addressed through “immense co-operation across government departments (and) Aboriginal organisations being given responsibility for child welfare” in a policy shift that was “going to cost money”.

Tony Abbott last night described as “regrettable” Mr Turnbull’s decision not to follow his lead and spend time in an indigenous community every year

NACCHO Events Save a date

save-a-date

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Member News : Funding boost for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in NSW #Yerin #Armajan

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“The aim of the funding is to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with access to primary health care services that are culturally appropriate and safe.

Our services designed in collaboration with our local community so they are sensitive to specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the local level.”

Belinda Field, Yerin CEO -NACCHO Member : Yerin Aboriginal Health Services Inc. is a community controlled integrated primary health care service located at Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, Darkinyung country. 

Pictured above L-R Kamira Farm (Natalie), The Glen (Joe Coyte), Yerin (Belinda Field), HNECCPHN (Richard Nankervis)

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“It’s a special meeting place that should be respected and cherished by the local Aboriginal community.

Its a place of learning , wellbeing and healing. And it belongs to you, the mob. It’s worth protecting,”

Armajan practice manager Dr Gleeson described an Aboriginal controlled health service as a contemporary sacred site. Armajun Aboriginal Health Service will be Walcha’s primary health care provider for Aboriginal people in the 2017-2018 year, after receiving almost $2.6 million of federal funding : see Article 2 below

Article 1 Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre

Funding for Aboriginal health services on the NSW Coast are to receive a large boost thanks to significant new funding from the Primary Health Network (PHN).

Speaking this morning at the Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Centre Richard Nankervis, CEO for the PHN said” The Primary Health Network is pleased to be providing more than $2.7M in funding to three of the leading primary health care providers on the Coast, namely Ngaimpe Aboriginal Corporation (operating The Glenn), Kamira and Yerin Aboriginal Health Services”.

“We look forward to working with these organisations to improve access to culturally appropriate primary health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and help close the gap in Aboriginal health disadvantage.”

The programs being funded cover a wide variety of primary health care services including care coordination, drug & alcohol rehabilitation and mental health programs such as peer navigation, counselling and suicide prevention.

Joe Coyte CEO of the Glen said, “We’re delighted that the PHN has recognised the fantastic outcomes we have been achieving at the Glen and they are supporting us to deliver these vital services. The funding will allow us to empower more Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal men take control of their lives and to become active members back in their families and the community as a whole.”

Kamira CEO, Catherine Hewett said, “This new funding is providing us with necessary funds to extend the reach of our services and help us provide more opportunities for Aboriginal women to access quality treatment.

We are looking forward to working with more women and helping them build strong relationships with their family and significant others so they have the necessary foundations for a long and lasting recovery”.

Funding for all of these programs and services have been allocated through the PHN’s commissioning process. The commissioning of health services is undertaken following a transparent tendering process that is informed by the PHN’s baseline needs assessment and associated market analysis. Commissioning is a holistic process that enables the PHN to plan and contract health care services that are appropriate and relevant to the needs of local communities

Article 2  : Armajun to take over local Aboriginal health services

A meeting was held in the offices of Amaroo  recently between the Walcha Aboriginal community and two representatives from Armajun Aboriginal Health Service.

Armajun chief executive officer Debbie McCowen and practice manager GP Keith Gleeson addressed the group to explain what services Armajun offered and find out what was needed in Walcha.

“We don’t believe in telling communities what they need,” said Ms McCowen.

“Our purpose today is to ask you what you think you need and outline what services we have and then investigate what we can do to provide anything else you might need.”

Armajun Aboriginal Health Service will be Walcha’s primary health care provider for Aboriginal people in the 2017-2018 year, after receiving almost $2.6 million of federal funding.

The Inverell-based company provides medical services out of the old Medicare Local building in Rusden Street, Armidale.

Mrs McCowen said the new funding secured Armajun’s services to Armidale and the region.

“This means we’re here to stay,” she said.

Armajun recently formed a regional advisory committee to inform the Inverell-based board on important local issues.

Amaroo chief executive Mark Davies and Kerry Griffin will represent Walcha.

The federal government cut more than $2 million from Aboriginal health provider, HealthWISE’s budget.

HealthWISE New England North West had been servicing more than 7500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region with about $2.6 million of Commonwealth funding.

But late last year the government announced HealthWISE would only receive $477,053 for the 2017-2018 year. “The level of funding received is insufficient [for us] to continue the same level of services across the region,” chairwoman Lia Mahoney told Fairfax Media at the time.

Meeting attendees raised concerns regarding the inadequate transport service between Walcha and  Armidale.

While Mr Davies queried whether a doctor who only treated Aboriginal patients would become an issue in the community, the mayor, Eric Noakes, and other attendees said it would not.

Dr Gleeson said they would not do anything without the agreement of other medical services in Walcha.

Dr Gleeson described an Aboriginal controlled health service as a contemporary sacred site.

“It’s a special meeting place that should be respected and cherished by the local Aboriginal community.

Its a place of learning , wellbeing and healing. And it belongs to you, the mob. It’s worth protecting,” he said.

Have you got a similar good news story about one of our ACCHO members ?

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NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?

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While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  : nacchonews@naccho.org.au