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Medical Health Aged Care, Political

Doctors call on MPs to pass the Duty of Care bill

Doctors for the Environment Australia 2 mins read

A legislated duty of care compelling the federal government to consider young people’s health and well-being when making climate-related policies is essential for protecting our children and their future, says medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia.

DEA’s Executive Director and GP, Dr Kate Wylie, says: “We’re proud to support the Duty of Care campaign led by Anjali Sharma, and call on MPs to support the Bill when the Senate Inquiry report is tabled in Parliament.

“Climate change is escalating and is disproportionately affecting young Australians.

“Children especially have more years left to live compared to adults, and early and repeated stresses will have lifelong physical and mental health repercussions.

“Children are more sensitive to heatwaves, smoke and ground-level pollution, and are reliant on adults to keep them safe during disasters such as bushfires, heatwaves, cyclones and floods.  Children can struggle to understand the unfolding events and afterwards can experience a range of psychological issues.

“Yet our young people lack their own political voice and must depend on adults to safeguard their health, their safety, and their rights. 

“Failure for our decision makers to support the Bill will show a reckless disregard of the obligation governments have towards ensuring our young people have a healthy and sustainable world to live in.”

Says DEA’s national medical student leader, Yufei Xu, "This Bill is essentially about fairness. 

“At the moment the government doesn't have to assess climate impacts on young people, even though we are the ones who will suffer most from rapid climate change. 

“And with climate change declared the biggest health risk facing people today and in the future, I’m only too aware that it’s my generation of health professionals who will be at the front line of caring for the community.

“The Albanese Government as part of its election pledge said that it would tackle climate change- this is an opportunity for it to prove it will stick to its promises.

“Today’s young people need a livable world to live and thrive- just like previous generations.”

The Duty of Care Bill is supported by crossbench MPs and politicians within the Labor party, including backbenchers and Ministers, while a petition for the Bill has received almost 15,000 signatures.

Resources

Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill 2023

Submission to Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Inquiry, Nov 2023

 

Media contact

 Executive Director Dr Kate Wylie- 0432 871 389

Media Manager Carmela Ferraro- 0410 703 070

 

–ENDS– 

 


About us:

Doctors for the Environment Australia is the leading medical voice on health and climate. We are medical doctors who understand that human health requires a healthy planet, with an environment that is free of pollution, rich in biodiversity, and able to provide for current and future generations sustainably.

 

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