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Time for action on real cost of mental health

A new report estimating the real costs of mental health services in Australia should be a wake-up call to the old parties, say Australian Greens spokesperson on Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright.

The report funded by Beyond Blue and Medibank said the real costs of mental health services was more than $28 billion, more than three time official government estimates.

"This is further evidence of the need for real action and real dedication from all levels of government," Senator Wright said.

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Estimates: National Suicide Prevention Strategy Allocation Totals Questions on Notice

Senate Community Affairs Committee
Health and Ageing Portfolio

Outcome 11 - Mental Health
Question No. E12-066

Senator WRIGHT: 

Please provide details of the cost of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy over the past three years (2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 and over forward estimates).

Answer:

Summary of Allocation

2009 - 2010 ($m): 21.7

2010 - 2011 ($m): 24.0

2011 - 2012 ($m): 23.8

2012 - 2013 ($m): 25.4

2013 - 2014 ($m): 25.3

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Estimates: National Suicide Prevention Strategy Questions on Notice

Senate Community Affairs Committee
Health and Ageing Portfolio

Outcome 11 - Mental Health
Question No. E12-065

Senator WRIGHT: 

Please detail the progress of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. For example, what are its main objectives; is there an overall framework or strategy document that is publically available; what are the main programs that fall under the strategy and has its overall effectiveness been evaluated?

Answer:

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Estimates: National Suicide Prevention Strategy Questions on Notice

Senate Community Affairs Committee
Health and Ageing Portfolio

Outcome 11 - Mental Health
Question No. E12-067

Senator WRIGHT: 

Over the past three years, what component of the total cost of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy has been directed towards specific rural or remote based suicide prevention initiatives (please provide both numerical and percentage values)?

Answer:

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Senator tours Queensland for rural mental health consultation

Queensland is the next stop for Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright's Australia-wide consultation about the quality of, and access to, mental health services in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Senator Wright, who is the Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, will visit Cairns, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast region over the next three days to talk to individuals and stakeholders about the challenges faced by people living in country Queensland when it comes to accessing essential mental health services.

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Greens only party standing up for Kangaroo Island community

The Australian Greens yesterday were the only party to vote in favour of recognising the ecological, economic and social importance of the Kangaroo Island Canyons and Pool to the Kangaroo Island community and South Australian community as a whole.

Earlier this month, Bight Petroleum applied for approval under national environmental laws to begin exploring for oil and gas in Commonwealth waters to the west of Kangaroo Island between January and May next year. The company intends to start drilling in 2014.

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Port Augusta’s Renewable Energy Future Within Reach

The Australian Greens are urging the Federal Government to commit to supporting local communities, regional jobs and a sustainable future, by supporting Alinta Energy's plans to build a solar-thermal plant in Port Augusta.­

Power company Alinta Energy is reportedly meeting with the Federal Government this week regarding the establishment of a solar-thermal power station in Port Augusta.

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