Shaping health policies: More public hearings announced for the parliamentary inquiry into diabetes

Issue date: Thursday, 16 November 2023

House of Representatives media release header

The Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport will hold five public hearings this month in Canberra, Brisbane, Yarrabah, Cairns, and Melbourne as part of its inquiry into diabetes.

The Chair of the Committee, Dr Mike Freelander MP, said: ‘As part of this broad inquiry, we are looking at all forms of diabetes including type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes, and other rarer forms such as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Over the coming days the Committee will hear from stakeholders including:

  • medical professionals and advocates such as Dr James Muecke AM, ophthalmologist and Australian of the Year in 2020
  • national peak bodies like the Obesity Collective
  • national charities including the Butterfly Foundation; and
  • industry groups, including the National Retail Association.

‘Submitters have raised many proposals to prevent and/or better manage diabetes, such as greater access to subsidised diabetes technology, changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule, a low carbohydrate diet, and policies to improve access to healthy diets including a sugar tax or strengthened Health Star Rating system. The Committee looks forward to exploring these and other ideas at the upcoming hearings’, commented Dr Freelander.

Dr Freelander further stated: ‘The Committee also looks forward to travelling to Yarrabah, an Aboriginal community outside of Cairns, to hear from the local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Gurriny Yealamucka, about its experiences with diabetes.’

The Deputy Chair of the Committee, Mrs Melissa McIntosh MP, added: ‘The Committee will also hear from individuals with lived experience of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. We anticipate that this will offer a better understanding of the daily realities of living with diabetes, including interactions with the healthcare system.’

‘There have been over 450 submissions to the inquiry showing the extent of interest in addressing this major health issue impacting so many Australians,’ Mrs McIntosh said.

Public hearing - Canberra

Date: Friday, 17 November 2023
Time: 8:45am to 3:50pm (Canberra time)
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House Canberra

Public hearing - Brisbane

Date: Monday, 20 November 2023
Time: 9:00am to 4:45pm (Brisbane time)
Location: Undumbi Room, Queensland Parliament, Corner of George and Alice Streets, Brisbane

Public hearing - Yarrabah

Date: Tuesday, 21 November 2023
Time: TBC (see inquiry website closer to the date for details)
Location: RTC Building, Yarrabah

Public hearing - Cairns

Date: Wednesday, 22 November 2023
Time: 9:00am to 11:00am (Cairns time)
Location: Michaelmas Cay 1 Function Room, Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, 35-41 Wharf Street, Cairns

Public hearing - Melbourne

Date: Thursday, 23 November 2023
Time: 8:30am to 5:00pm (Melbourne time)
Location: Davui Room, Victorian Parliament, 55 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne

Programs for the hearings will be made available on the inquiry website. A live audio stream of the hearings will also be available on the APH website.

Media inquiries

Dr Mike Freelander MP – Committee Chair
(02) 4620 0293

Mrs Melissa McIntosh MP – Committee Deputy Chair
(02) 4722 0600

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4145

House of Representatives media release header