Policy and Advocacy

Hazelwood & Heyfield – efforts to support workers needed

The AMA’s policy position on Climate Change and Human Health states recognises climate change, its direct and indirect health impacts, and the benefits of renewable energy.

Along with recognising climate change and identifying areas of priory, the AMA’s position statement acknowledges that: “Consequent unemployment has potential health impacts, particularly mental illness. On the other hand, mitigation strategies can also create job opportunities in renewable energy generation, climate-smart agriculture, land restoration, selective logging, and forest protection. Government and industry can proactively employ a range of strategies to alleviate adverse impacts for workers during the transition to a decarbonised economy.”

In 2016, The Conversation reported that the connection between unemployment and mental illness was most visible during the global financial crisis when Australia’s economic growth slowed and unemployment and underemployment increased. Suicide rates among the unemployed rose 22% during the crisis compared to their rates prior to the crisis.

This issue is particularly pertinent for members in the Morwell, Heyfield, Shepparton and Geelong areas (to name just a few).

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