PLA Federal Election Advocacy Letter

PLA Federal Election Advocacy Letter

Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) calls on the Australian Government to prioritise investment in delivering greener places and healthier communities in our cities and regions to improve the health of Australians and to become climate resilient places.
 

COVID19 has shown us that the community values our green open spaces and protecting, enhancing, and extending them should be a priority of the Australian Government.

PLA continue to be concerned about the poor health of our nation.

PLA “calls to action” the Australian Government to partner with state and local governments in our urgent and collective response to this health crisis.

Physical inactivity remains high where more than a third of Australian’s aged 15 and over do very little or no exercise at all and 8 in 10 Australian children do not meet national guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. The cost of physical inactivity to the Australian economy is over $800M annually and causes an estimated 16,000 deaths each year. People that participate in sport or are physically active are 36% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease!

Australia has increasing rates of mental health challenges following sustained COVID-19 restrictions. A key lesson from lockdowns has been how important our parks have been to the wellbeing of our community.

The rising inflation rates means the cost of providing and maintaining parks and leisure services, facilities and places is becoming unsustainable. It is becoming unaffordable for some people to access services.

As the planners, the architects and custodians of Australia’s parks, bushlands, gardens, sports facilities, leisure centres, trails and paths and water bodies, our urban health infrastructure, we know that people’s engagement in our places will result in a healthier, smarter, and happier nation.

Creating climate resilient cities and regions through urban forestation, enhancing bio-links, and conservation is also a priority and an outcome from investing in urban health infrastructure.

PLA seek the Australian Government partner with state and local governments in developing a national urban health infrastructure and tree canopy targets in our cities and regions.

We have seen state and local governments across Australia step up their investment in our urban health infrastructure. Recognising these places as key ingredients to the liveability of our cities and regions and economic recovery from COVID-19 restrictions.

Unfortunately, only 8% of the Australian Government’s “prioritising mental health, preventative health and sport” budget in 2021 (that makes up less than 1% of the overall health budget) is allocated to community healthy and active lifestyles.

PLA seek the Australian Government invest in the implementation of national urban health infrastructure and canopy targets in our cities and regions.

Let’s fast track our creative redesign of our cities and regions through the Australian Government partnering with State and Local Government and investing in greener places that are connected to where people live, work, and play so they are active, sustainable, and productive.


Sincerely,


Mark Band

CEO

Parks and Leisure Australia.




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