Joint media release: Australia to lead in antimicrobial resistance

22 November 2020

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health

The World Health Organisation has announced the appointment of Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley to the first One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, which will promote urgent action to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance worldwide. 

In accepting her appointment, Minister Ley said she would be a strong advocate for awareness and global action to protect human health, animal health and our natural environment.

“Tackling antimicrobial resistance is a priority for the Australian Government,” Minister Ley said.

“In Australia, we are taking forward a joint initiative combining health, agriculture and environment to develop a One Health Master Action Plan to support our National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, 2020 and Beyond.

“The strategy reflects a commitment to addressing the threat antimicrobial resistance poses across different sectors including Australia’s unique and diverse environment.

“Antimicrobials enter the environment every day and can accumulate over time, leading to increased resistance and potentially harmful effects on human and animal populations.

“Drug resistance also endangers the world’s ability to fight numerous diseases, including COVID-19. 

“The formation of the global leaders group represents a major step forward towards tackling antimicrobial resistance and solving these international issues.

“As part of the One Health Global Leaders Group, I will be a strong advocate for our collective health as well as the livelihoods of Australians and our natural environment.”

Minister for Health Greg Hunt welcomed Minister Ley’s appointment, and said the Government was taking strong steps to address the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

“The Australian Government has committed $22.5 million in this year’s Budget to address the priorities identified in Australia’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy – 2020 & Beyond,” Minister Hunt said. 

“We are working to ensure Australian prescribers are turning to antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic medicines only when they are absolutely necessary.

“Antimicrobial Resistance is a significant global health threat and we are committed to taking action to protect human health, animal health and our natural environment.”

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