Skip to content
Energy, Government Federal

Today: Health workers call on Bowen to Save Lives with Solar

Healthy Futures 2 mins read
Healthy Futures Logo

Health professionals will gather today at 11am outside Parliament House in Canberra to deliver an open letter signed by 25 organisations representing over 50,000 health professionals, including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) and the Australasian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP), calling for funding commitments for rooftop solar on social housing to protect vulnerable people from the health impacts of extreme heat and climate change.

Led by Healthy Futures, the letter warns that heat-related illnesses kill thousands of Australians every year. 

The letter requests that the Federal government commit to installing rooftop solar on at least 30% of Australian social housing, to be completed by the end of 2026, provide access to affordable renewable electricity where rooftop solar is impractical and install reverse cycle air conditioning and implement other energy efficient retrofits to achieve safe temperatures in all social housing. 

The full letter is viewable at www.healthyfutures.net.au/solar

Associate Professor Rowena Ivers, representing the RACGP, said: “As GPs, we know that increasing extremes of heat can have an impact on the health of the community – especially on the very young, and the very old. In primary care, we need to help our patients plan for heatwaves, which might include discussing staying cool, using air conditioning, or including this in chronic disease management plans, but we also need to advocate for broader interventions that can reduce climate change.”

“Extreme heat can trigger heart attacks, kidney failure, strokes and even death,” said Ursula Alquier, Healthy Futures Campaigner. “We want to see a commitment to ensure people living in social housing are able to live in safe and healthy homes”

“As healthcare workers, we are concerned about the health of our patients and our climate. People in social housing need energy-efficient homes with cheap renewable-powered air conditioning to protect their health” said Dr Harry Jennens, general practitioner and Healthy Futures Co-ordinator.


Action details:

  • Where: Parliament steps, Canberra
  • When: Tuesday March 26, at 11:00 - 11.30am

What: Healthcare workers gather outside Parliament to send the Federal government a strong message that heat and climate change are harmful to health, and people need protection now

Visuals: Will be available on the day

 

Key facts:

  • Heat-related illnesses kill thousands of Australians every year (1) by increasing heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and other health impacts.
  • Roughly one-third of heat-related deaths in Australia are attributable to climate change (2,3).
  • Many social housing dwellings are poor quality and prone to temperature extremes (3-5).
  • A 2023 survey of people on low incomes by the Australian Council of Social Services found that 94.5% avoided using air conditioning because it is too expensive (6).

Open Letter to the Hon Chris Bowen, Federal Minister for Climate Change & Energy: www.healthyfutures.net.au/solar

 

Images and video will be available on the day

 

Available for interview:

  • Associate Professor Rowena Ivers, general practitioner and public health physician on the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) NSWACT Faculty Council
  • Ursula Alquier, Healthy Futures Campaigner
  • Dr Bronwyn McDonald, Healthy Futures Campaigner

 

Media enquiries

  • Bronwyn McDonald: 0408 477 403
  • Ursula Alquier: 0474 803 740

 

References:

 

[1] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(21)00081-4/fulltext

 

[2]https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-change-blamed-for-more-than-a-third-of-heat-related-deaths-20210531-p57wpy.html

 

[3]  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01058-x

 

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378778822005205?via%3Dihub

[5]https://www.malleefamilycare.org.au/MFCSite/media/PDFDocuments/PublicHousing/2019/MalleeFamilyCare_PublicHousing_Report_2019.pdf

[6] https://www.shelterwa.org.au/stuck-in-the-heat/

[7]https://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Heat-Survey-Report_20230228.pdf


Contact details:

Bronwyn McDonald: 0408 477 403

Ursula Alquier: 0474 803 740

Media

More from this category

  • Government Federal
  • 18/04/2024
  • 10:50
Parliament of Australia

Happy Friday: Kicking off public hearings for two Audit Committee inquiries – Commonwealth Financial Statements and Failed Visa Privatisation

TheJoint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit(JCPAA) will conduct the first public hearings on Friday 19 April 2024 for its inquiries on the2022-23 Commonwealth Financial Statementsand on thefailed visa privatisation process and the implementation of other public sector IT procurements and projects. The details are as follows: Date:Friday 19 April 2024Time:10.00am – 3.30pm (AEST)Venue:Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House ProgramInquiry into Commonwealth Financial Statements 2022-2310.00amAustralian National Audit Office11.15am[IT and AI matters raised in the audit – roundtable] Australian National Audit Office Department of Home Affairs Department of Finance Digital Transformation Agency Australian Signals Directorate Department of Industry, Science and Resources12.15pmBreak Inquiry…

  • Community, Energy
  • 17/04/2024
  • 11:35
Community Power Agency and Local Jobs - New England North West

New England North West locals to hear about making job opportunities from the region’s renewable projects

April 17 2024 The Community Power Agency will be co-presenting on clean jobs in renewable energy at the Renewable Manilla Festival (near Tamworth) this Friday April 19th. Community Power Agency’s Regional Coordinator Heidi McElnea said the interactive presentation would explain the job opportunities and economic possibilities that are in the pipeline for New England North West. “With between 30 and 50 renewable energy projects across the region in the stages of planning and construction, there’s potential to get involved, to develop skills and qualifications, to shift across from other industries, and to kick start new careers and business ventures,” Ms…

  • Energy, Environment
  • 17/04/2024
  • 10:52
TALENT ALERT

AUSTRALIAN MADE: Federal Government tipped to announce hundreds of millions of dollars to process critical minerals for renewable technology in Gladstone

Kahn Goodluck, Councillor, Gladstone Regional Council, said: ‘’Gladstone is at the heart of Australia's renewable energy revolution and this is another boost our region needs as we move to cut climate pollution. If we continue on this path, with our regions at the forefront of the global move to net zero, we'll see these areas continue to thrive as jobs and opportunities arise. The world is rapidly transitioning away from coal, so investment in sustainable industries, like green refining and domestic manufacturing related to renewable energy, will ensure central QLD has strong employment opportunities well into the future.’’ Interview availability…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.