2023 New South Wales Election
To support people living with asthma, their carers and health professionals, Asthma Australia has identified four priority areas for the 2023 New South Wales (NSW) Election. These priority areas focus on reducing the risk factors for asthma symptoms and exacerbations. Many of these risk factors also contribute to the development of asthma in people who do not have the condition. Addressing these priorities will contribute to the systemic changes needed to ensure people in NSW, including those with asthma, can breathe better and live freely.
The priorities outlined below will reduce the burden of asthma in NSW.
1. Contribute funding to a national AirSmart public education campaign
AirSmart aims to educate and empower people by providing the information, tools and strategies needed to minimise or avoid exposure to unhealthy air. By doing so, AirSmart reduces the negative impacts of unhealthy air on people’s health, wellbeing and participation in society. A pilot AirSmart campaign in July and August 2022 that included southern NSW in the pilot sites demonstrated strong results.
2. Supporting people with asthma on low incomes to install cleaner and more efficient forms of heating, cooling and cooking in their homes
Improving the appliances people in NSW use to heat their homes and cook their food will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. Indoor air pollution from heating with gas or wood heaters and cooking with gas cooktops produces a range of pollutants and can worsen indoor air quality. Exposure to these pollutants can trigger asthma flare-ups and contribute to the development of asthma.i The effects of these issues may be particularly acute for people who rent or live in social housing as they may have limited means or agency to make necessary improvements to their homes.ii Pollution from wood heaters can worsen indoor air quality and is a leading source of outdoor air pollution.iii
3. Investing in HEPA air purifiers to improve the air quality in the homes of people with asthma on low incomes
Health advice during periods of air pollution includes staying inside with doors and windows closed, however, air pollution can enter buildings. This was a significant issue for people across NSW during the 2019-20 bushfire smoke crisis. While HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) air purifiers can be highly effective in reducing indoor air pollutioniv the cost can prevent people on low incomes from purchasing air purifiers for their homes. Supporting people on low incomes with asthma with the cost of purchasing air purifiers would be an effective measure to improve indoor air quality during air pollution events and increase equity.
2022 Victorian Election
To support people living with asthma, their carers and health professionals, Asthma Australia has identified four priority areas for the 2022 Victorian Election. These priority areas focus on people who need support and will influence the systemic changes needed to ensure these people are supported to live healthy lives. The programs outlined below will lighten the burden for people with asthma in Victoria.