SWAN Hills MP Jessica Shaw has marked National Close the Gap Day by placing her handprint on a banner to recognise the gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
Ms Shaw joined other politicians who joined the campaign to help end health inequality and close the 10-year gap in life expectancy by 2030.
“I was proud to pledge my support for this initiative,” she said.
“Closing the gap is an incredibly important issue for our local community, our country, and needs to be addressed at all levels of government.
“I attended a number of events in parliament this week aimed at raising awareness and working together to find solutions.
“We have a high number of Indigenous Australians in Swan Hills.
“There are systemic issues in our society that have led to unequal employment, education, health, life expectancy, crime and housing outcomes.
“I don’t think it’s fair that on average our first Australians will die 10 years earlier than the broader population – that’s why the campaign is so important.
“It brings these issues directly to the attention of decision makers.”
More than 95 per cent of WA politicians have thrown their support behind the campaign by Oxfam Australia.
Oxfam Australia WA community campaigner Paddy Cullen said it was encouraging to see so many representatives at the state level echoing community support for an end to health inequality in Australia.
“Showing support for Close the Gap sends a powerful message to both State and Federal Governments to fully implement a comprehensive national action plan to achieve Indigenous health equality,” he said.
“It is 10 years since the Federal Government said sorry and pledged to close the gaps – now is the time for all politicians to get serious about making it happen.”