Feb 6, 2006

Goals for Aussie Kids: Labor’s investment in children’s health

Goals for Aussie Kids: Labor’s investment in children’s health

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

6 February 2006

Anthony Albanese MP, Federal Labor Member for Grayndler, today supported Labor’s Goals for Aussie Kids Blueprint.

“Goals for Aussie Kids aims to build a healthy future for our kids, and is a strong commitment to our community and to the protection of our future prosperity,” Mr Albanese said.

The blueprint announces three national, first-term goals for a Beazley Labor government:

1.  the screening of all newborn babies for metabolic disorders, hearing problems and foetal alcohol syndrome;

2.  a national childhood obesity campaign that will involve practical measures in homes, in schools and in the community; and

3.  a fresh approach to tackling mental health problems, suicide and substance abuse among young people.

Labor’s Goals for Aussie Kids will also deliver, without delay, all recommended vaccinations to all babies.

Mr Albanese said, “Prioritising the health and prosperity of our children is the most important investment a country can make in its future, yet the facts tell us the Howard Government has squandered its opportunity to do just that.”

“Today, there are more low birth weight babies, rising rates of developmental disorders, and more children with autism, asthma, diabetes and allergies.”

“Many more children are diagnosed as obese, yet ironically, there’s an epidemic of eating disorders,” he went on. “An alarming number of children suffer mental health problems and tragically youth suicide also remains a significant problem.”

“At the rate we’re going, future generations of children simply won’t live as long as we will.”

“High rates of hospitalisation, morbidity, preventable disease outbreaks and infant mortality in Indigenous communities are also unacceptable and require immediate attention.”

“Only Labor is committed to the health and prosperity of the next generations of Australians,” Mr Albanese concluded.