PHAA’s process for preparing a CDC consultation submission

Public Health Association of Australia logo. Icon of badge with three cogs inside it. Text: 'An Australian Centre for Disease Control. CDC Corner'.

By PHAA CEO Terry Slevin and Vice-President (Policy) Professor Caroline Miller

PHAA has been invited to provided a submission to the consultation process for the establishment of the Australian Centre for Disease Control.

We have been actively engaged in this process and are providing assistance to the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care team leading the “CDC Project”.

This article suggests how PHAA can prepare our submission and meet the department’s “hard” deadline of 9 December 2022. It also aims to provide guidance to a range of other agencies looking for leadership from PHAA on this issue, while actively engaging our membership, so as to draw upon their expertise to maximise the quality of the submission.

This earlier post summarises the discussion paper, Role and Functions of an Australian Centre for Disease Control: Prevention-Promotion-Protection, and the consultation process.

The Process

The 56-page consultation paper reveals the thinking of the team who are running the “CDC Project” within the Department. It sets out what they consider to be in, as well as beyond, the CDC’s scope.  It identifies timelines and priorities for immediate focus of the CDC, which is anticipated to commence in early 2024.

The paper outlines a range of priority issues, and formulates 28 questions aimed to guide submissions.

Various stakeholders and partner agencies have sought input and advice from PHAA on issues relating to the CDC. Many will wish to prepare a submission but would welcome guidance on content. We can nurture those relationships and partnerships, and simultaneously increasing our influence on the process, by having a “final draft” submission here in Intouch by COB Friday 2 December.

We may reserve the right to “fine tune” this draft in the final week, but it should reflect our core views.

Our Proposal

We propose following those 28 guiding questions, but not feel restricted by them. We believe we can, and should, address issues outside them if we feel it important.

We might identify and rate each question (e.g. from 1 to 4) with reference to the amount of detail we might provide.  At the high end (e.g. a question rated 1), we might provide considerable detail.  At the other end, questions rated 4 might involve us leaving it blank.

For internal consultation, particular individual members (eg One Health SIG Convenor) may be invited or volunteer to draft responses to specific questions in which they’ve expertise.

Similarly, the membership will be invited (via usual channels like our members’-only Pump weekly newsletter) to respond in areas where they may have a strong view, or particular expertise in a nominated relevant field.

All such feedback will be subject to our Policy team’s normal editing processes.


PHAA continues to play an active and constructive role in the process of establishing the Australian CDC.  While we should take every opportunity to provide advice about how the agency unfolds and encourage positive engagement from all entities, ultimately this is in the hands of the government of the day to determine, and to be accountable for.


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