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Call to Boost Mental Health Funding Following Bondi Attack

Deliberations for the NSW Budget will include a bid to introduce a payroll levy on the state’s largest employers to reverse a slide in mental health funding.

Legalise Cannabis MP Jeremy Buckingham has pitched a proposal to the powerful Expenditure Review Committee to introduce the levy in the upcoming Budget.

He said that Queensland and Victoria already placed a similar levy, and said NSW had an opportunity to evolve from being “a laggard to leader in mental health”.

“The tragic events of the last week should prove a wake-up call for all of us,” Mr Buckingham said.

“NSW has invested the least per capita in mental health services of any state or territory government in Australia.

“We are the only jurisdiction that has reduced per capita investment over the past decade. That must change.

“During that time, rates of psychological distress in NSW have almost doubled.”

He said that statistics showed mental health now represented 15 per cent of the disease burden but received just 5 per cent of overall funding.

“It’s time to act. Our community is calling out for effective action. Premier Chris Minns and Mental Health Minister Rose Jackson to support those living with mental health and their families.

“We will all benefit from a more compassionate approach.”

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