Following a 2018 AIHW report that found Armidale had the highest child mortality rate in NSW, Greens MP David Shoebridge has joined with the Armidale Regional Greens Councillor and Deputy Mayor Dorothy Robinson to call for the establishment of a joint local and state taskforce to tackle the problem.
The April 2018 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that, from 2011-2015, Armidale Region had the highest child mortality rate in NSW. The Greens are calling for Armidale Council to show leadership on this issue and move to establish a joint taskforce with the NSW government to reduce child mortality.
Greens MP and Child Protection Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“There is a strong need for investment in the Armidale area in in technology to reduce child mortality and the local council should be at the heart of this response.
“We’re calling on the State Government to work with Armidale Council to set up a taskforce to address the appallingly high child mortality rates in the area.
“In a wealth country like Australia we should never accept these rates of child mortality, so it is essential we act.
“The local council has the on-the-ground knowledge that when combined with resources and skills of NSW Health will enable the taskforce to design practical interventions to keep kids alive,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Greens Armidale Councillor Dorothy Robinson said:
“Despite the obvious need, the administrator did not invest any of the $15 million amalgamation money towards addressing child mortality in the area.
“I know local residents are really concerned about this, and worried about the role played by air pollution, entrenched disadvantage and overcrowded housing.
“This is a contest we don’t want to win. Being the council area with the highest childhood mortality rates in NSW should be enough to encourage council to get behind this taskforce,” Ms Robinson said.