Inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia

  • November 29, 2016

Inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia

Mr Speaker

Hearing loss and deafness affects over 3.5 million Australians or the equivalent of 1 in 6. 

With our population ageing, that number is predicted to increase to possibly 1 in 4 Australians by 2050.

Hearing loss not only affects the personal lives of so many but also has an economic impact – a cost of almost $12 billion according to some reports.

Ensuring that we as a community are supporting people with hearing loss – through research, education, testing and the provision of medical services is therefore vital.

As the new Chair of this House’s Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport I am therefore pleased that our first inquiry in this parliament will be to consider hearing health and well being.

The inquiry commenced this week and I want to encourage all those with an interest in this area to make submissions, which close on 23 December 2016.

In many ways, Australia is a world-leader in the support given to those with hearing loss.

The Committee will be commencing the inquiry with a visit to the Shepherd Centre which does such incredible work supporting children with hearing loss.

We will also meet with Cochlear – one of Australia’s great success stories in medical technology an innovation. 

Just in my own electorate I am proud of the innovative work of Carolyn Mee and Sounds Scouts who have developed an easy online game to allow parents and practitioners to test the hearing of children.

However there is more that we can do nationally and the committee will provide this parliament with an opportunity to review our approach.

We must ensure that we are leading the world in supporting those with hearing loss so that they are able to fully participate in the life of our community.