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Key focus areas

The low rates and barriers of access to COVID-19 vaccination in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is a clear example of the significant health disparities which continue to occur in Australia.

2 – Invest in preventive health

Australia cannot afford repeated disasters on the scale of COVID-19, whether they are triggered by the next pandemic, or from the rising chronic disease epidemic. One in five Australians have multiple chronic conditions.

New and existing gaps in the public health workforce have been highlighted by COVID-19. A public health workforce has a vital role in building resilience of communities and health systems.

4 – Establish a Centre for Disease Control & Prevention

COVID-19 has demonstrated that we cannot go back to the way we did things before. National surveillance and response systems were not strong or fast enough to halt or control transmission.

5 – Protect against unhealthy products

Companies make substantial profits from unethical marketing and promoting unhealthy commodities, including gambling, formula milk, fast and ultra-processed foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, alcohol and tobacco (including e-cigarettes), all of which are a major cause of chronic disease and health inequities.

6 – Climate and health

The close and delicate relationship between people and planet has been highlighted by COVID-19 (and previous disease outbreaks). A true economic and social recovery from the pandemic will not permit unabated climate change.

7 – Healthy democracy and public policy-making