Senate calls for action on Aboriginal hearing health

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Greens have secured Senate support for a motion calling on Australian Governments to urgently address hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“The recent Close the Gap report called for a reset on addressing health inequality this needs to include hearing health.

“Governments around Australia have failed to adequately address hearing health which affects our ability to close the gap.

“This country has so much to offer yet the First People of this nation are plagued with avoidable hearing loss because of inadequate funding and resources.

“Failure to stop preventable hearing loss is costing us more in the long run. Hearing loss entrenches disadvantage and means kids struggle in school then are more likely to come into contact with the health and justice system.

“Federal, state and territory Governments are not doing enough. It is time to ramp up our efforts and commit to recommendations in the 2017 Close the Gap report”.

Motion reads:

*249 Senator Siewert: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the Close the Gap Progress and Priorities Report 2017;

(b) acknowledges that unaddressed hearing loss and impairment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities leads to poorer life outcomes and entrenches disadvantage;

(c) recognises that not enough is being done to address hearing loss and impairment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;

(d) calls on the Minister for Indigenous Affairs to support the recommendations of the Close the Gap Progress and Priorities Report 2017, which calls for new engagement with our First Peoples and the Redfern Statement, as well as a reset to the national approach to health inequality; and

(e) calls on the federal, state and territory governments to urgently address hearing loss and impairment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

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