Climate change

Pushing for an inquiry into the health impacts of climate change

“Extreme weather events have a huge impact on people’s mental health, in many cases for years after the events,” she said. “In communities across Australia, we have seen an increase in clinically diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression and suicide in the years following such events.”

Falinski said national security, achieving net zero, the cost of living, affordability of housing for the next generation and maintaining a strong economy were the issues that voters in the electorate.

Liberal MP Jason Falinski said the government will always protect the health of Australians. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Falinski said he hoped Prime Minister Scott Morrison would join him in campaigning on the northern beaches: “I hope he does, he’s already been to the electorate twice over the past the past three years.”

But Mr Falinski added: “He’s very busy and can’t be everywhere, it will be interesting to see how that goes.”

Independent Warringah member Zali Steggall said she “fully supports” the calls for an investigation.

“The impact of climate change on health is already bad and without serious intervention the multitude of impacts will become dire,” she said.


Climate change is responsible for more than a third of heat-related deaths.

“This is unfortunately going to get worse and we need to take action globally, nationally and locally,” Ms Steggall said. “With the urban heat island effect, places like western Sydney are increasingly vulnerable to those long, featureless hot days.”

Dr Scamps said a national strategy could strengthen the ability of health services to respond to climate impacts on mental and physical health.

“We need to work together in a positive way to reduce people’s worries,” she said.


Dr Scamps said the effects of climate on health were a problem in the Mackellar electorate where flooding has caused weeks of poor water quality on northern beaches.

“Last month, during severe flooding, a junior lifesaving championship at Queenscliff had to be postponed due to a gastro outbreak which affected hundreds of children and their families, many of them in Mackellar,” he said. she declared.

Surfing legend Tom Carroll, who lives in the Mackellar constituency, said the local community was already being affected by climate change.

“We need to take note of the cost on all levels, including our health and mental health, of the recent flooding along the east coast,” he said.


“There is a clear lack of trust in our federal government leaders to provide the quick and steady support that communities need.

“When people needed help and action, there was none and people feel like they just aren’t being heard by the government,” Mr Carroll said.

Hilary Bambrick, director of the School of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology, said recognizing climate change as a health emergency was a welcome move.

“We need policy makers and politicians to understand the seriousness of the health effects of climate change,” she said.

Jacqueline Maley cuts through the noise of the federal election campaign with news, opinion and expert analysis. Sign up for our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter here.