After our Here for Change campaign in the lead up to the March 2023 election and marking the first 100 days of the Chris Minn’s Labor government, we want to take stock – where has there been progress and where is our advocacy heading?
A Fresh Start – getting back to basics in health
The Chris Minns Labor Government’s health platform during the 2023 election focused on the health staffing issues exposed and exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and culminated in a series of industrial actions leading into the election.
As the new government reaches the first 100 Days, it can tick off a key issue in its Fresh Start plan – removing the wage cap.
In a recent address at the Western Sydney University, the Premier said he would continue to focus on delivering election promises and essential services.
E-Cigarettes and Vaping – a win for strong and decisive national action
Between 2019 and 2022 vaping among 16-24-year-olds in NSW tripled from 4.5% to 16.5%. The Generation Vape research, led by Cancer Council NSW, also found that around a third of 14-17-year-olds have tried vaping.
For the first time in decades, smoking in young people is on the rise.
We know that getting young people addicted to nicotine is a deliberate strategy. We need to take the lessons learnt from tobacco and call for strong action to stop the retail sale of illegal vapes.
In the lead up to the 2023 election, NSW Labor committed to ‘End Vaping in Schools’.
In May 2023, the Federal Government announced a comprehensive package of decisive reforms and standards to tackle vaping and tobacco smoking including:
Stopping the importation of non-prescription vapes.
Introduction of plain packaging.
Standards set for toxic content and nicotine concentration.
Additional funding for programs to quit smoking and vaping.
Banning of single-use vapes.
Cancer Council NSW continues its advocacy calling on all levels of government to urgently address the unfolding crisis of vaping among young people.
Free Parking at Hospitals
Accessible healthcare and out-of-pocket costs such as hospital parking are an ongoing concern for cancer patients and more needs to be done to provide relief. The former Coalition Government promised free parking at all regional and rural hospitals and Labor promised to match this. Cancer Council NSW remains hopeful that this promise will be delivered in full.
Breast Cancer Nurses
In the lead up to the 2023 election NSW Labor made a $19.5 million commitment for NSW to become the first state to offer every breast cancer patient the support of a McGrath Foundation nurse.
We keenly await news of the funding allocation when the NSW Government delivers its first budget in September.
Where to for Cancer Council NSW advocacy?
Our research predicts that 1.25 million people in NSW will be diagnosed with cancer over the next 25 years and 1 in 3 of them will die from cancer. Our mission is to advocate for cancer policies and initiatives to change these outcomes.
We will continue to work with the NSW Government and Members of Parliament to prevent cancer, improve early detection and diagnosis, and improve access to high quality cancer care and support, no matter who you are or where you live.