Media Release - Labor commits $15 million to boost national health and climate research capabilities

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $15 million to establish the National Health and Climate Centre at UNSW Sydney, co-ordinating research and responses to the impact of climate change on the health of Australians.

The Liberals have treated scientific research into the impacts of climate change with contempt and disdain over the past six years.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plans for more support for research and science, or the Liberals’ war on research and science in favour of bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town.

We need real change – because more of the same isn’t good enough.

Our scientific community has warned us that the Liberals’ policy inaction on climate change is threatening lives and impacting our economy.

Australia now lacks a co-ordinated, strategic national response to the growing health impacts of climate change.

That is why a Shorten Labor Government will develop the National Health and Climate Centre, based at UNSW’s Kensington campus.

This investment will directly boost Australia’s health and climate change research capabilities in Sydney as well as in partner agencies across the country.

The Centre will bring together the research and responses of federal agencies including the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council, along with state and territory governments and other universities. 

The National Health and Climate Centre will focus on policy-relevant research including:                                                                              

  • Temperature-related death and illness, particularly among the elderly and young.
  • Climate impacts on water-related illness in rural areas.
  • Climate impacts on health services for vulnerable populations, including Indigenous Australians and low socioeconomic groups.
  • Air quality impacts on populations as a result of bush fires.
  • Mental health and well-being under increasing climate induced stress.

The National Health and Climate Centre would be overseen by an independent advisory board.

Board members would include representation from all state and territory health departments, the health service industry, academia and the NGO sector.

This $15 million investment is part of Labor’s $300 million University Future Fund.

If you want real action on climate change, not more chaos - vote Labor.

If you want a fair go for all Australians - vote Labor.

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