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Single-Use Plastics

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:57): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Health and Wellbeing a question about school immunisation program notices.


Leave granted.


The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: I understand that SA Health have recently supplied schools with notices for parents about the year 10 school immunisation program for the meningococcal B and ACWY vaccine. This information contains one double-sided letter to parents about meningococcal disease and it also contains a consent card for the immunisation program. Each notice for parents has been individually wrapped in plastic. My question to the minister is:


1. Given the government's consultation on banning some single-use plastics, can the minister advise why it is necessary for such information to be wrapped in plastic?


2. Are there any other notices that SA Health issue that are similarly wrapped in plastic?


3. Will the minister consult with the Minister for Environment to reduce plastic usage?


4. Can the minister advise what initiatives, if any, SA Health have implemented to reduce the use and consumption of single-use plastics across the local health networks?


The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (14:58): In relation to the meningococcal B notice, I will certainly clarify why it's considered necessary to pack it in that way. The fact of the matter is that we will, in Health, continue to use a lot of single-use plastics; that is the nature of Health. In relation to packaging of notices, I will certainly follow up to what extent that's necessary.


The member indicates that this is a year 10 program. This is a program that the government is very proud of. It is the first such program in the world and, as the honourable member said, in conjunction with the national immunisation program for other serotypes of meningococcus this program will mean that South Australian young people will be the only young Australians to have a full set of meningococcal vaccinations.


In terms of the recycling I would refer the honourable member to my answer, I think, in the last sitting period to the Hon. Mark Parnell—I think it was the Hon. Mark Parnell, or perhaps I was just thinking of him while I did it. It was an answer where I highlighted the solar panels that are going on hospitals. In that answer I detailed a whole range of things that Health is doing to have less impact as part of the government's Climate Smart strategy. In terms of the honourable member's question in relation to broader initiatives I would refer him to that answer.

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