PHAA Policy and Advocacy Team
After more than 30 years advocating for the establishment of an Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the PHAA team is celebrating the lodging of our submission today to the Australian Government addressing the questions outlined in the Role and Functions of an Australian Centre for Disease Control Discussion Paper.
In addition to our core asks for a focus on non-communicable as well as infectious diseases, and an appropriate level of independence from political influence, some highlights from our submission include:
- we made suggestions as to how some of its activities might be funded, including a new travel levy to support biosecurity measures.
- we highlighted the need for the CDC to build and maintain strong functional relationships with many other elements of government, particularly with states and territories.
- we said the CDC needed to commence with an active plan and appropriate resourcing for Chronic Disease Prevention. The National Preventive Health Strategy is the obvious framework through which this can occur.
- we reminded the government of the case for health taxes, in the form of modifications to current tobacco and alcohol tax regimes, as well as a sugary drinks tax, both advancing chronic disease prevention efforts as well as providing much needed revenue to finance the broad range of public health work necessary to operate the CDC, both at a national and jurisdictional level.
- we said that the CDC must prioritise efforts to advance the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- we also urged that the CDC be used to build public health workforce capacity in Australia, by leading and investing in advancement of the workforce through a range of national initiatives and programs, including an Australian Public Health Officer Training Program.
This submission could not have been possible without the valuable thinking and contributions from our active and passionate staff and members, who have not only written pieces for our CDC Corner, which is such a popular and spirited part of our InTouch Public Health blog, but also provided direct feedback to our policy team. We thank those individuals whole-heartedly.
The PHAA is strongly committed to the successful establishment of and future growth of the CDC. Our submission seeks to contribute constructively to thinking about the CDC, in the expectation that the resulting institution will be effective, responsive, and above all will contribute to the health of people in Australia for generations to come.
We now look forward to the outcome of the consultation phase and urge the Government to take the time to get this right – its realisation is critical to Australia’s public health future.