Date published: 
26 September 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Morrison Government welcomes the release the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Causes of Death, Australia, 2018 report.

The report notes the number of lives lost to suicide decreased by 82 from the previous year and suicide dropped one place to 14th leading cause of death overall.

Even though the suicide rate dropped from 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people to 12.1, the only acceptable aim is to work towards zero.

Suicide remained the leading cause of death among people 15-44 years of age, and the second leading cause of death among those 45-54 years of age, in 2018.

Each life lost is tragic, which is why the Government is working towards our goal of zero suicide and why we are committed to the task.

The Prime Minister has appointed Ms Christine Morgan as his National Suicide Prevention Adviser. Ms Morgan will work across government and the community to develop options to improve the way frontline services, community-based organisations and programs support those at risk or in crisis.

We are also investing $55 million in national suicide prevention trials, $12 million for suicide prevention research, $37.6 million to expand the Way Back support program with Beyond Blue, and $81.7 million for support under the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program.

Changes in the leading causes of death over recent years have been characterised by fewer cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) deaths.

Heart disease deaths decreased from 91.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009 to 54.6 deaths in 2018, while cerebrovascular deaths declined from 11,216 in 2009 to 9,972 in 2018.
It is encouraging to see the ongoing decline in the rates of mortality due to heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, however these remain among the leading causes of death in Australia.
Authorised by Greg Hunt MP, Liberal Party of Australia, Somerville, Victoria.

The Morrison Government’s $220 million in funding for the Mission for Cardiovascular Health through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), and $4 million investment in the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for Heart Disease and Stroke are of critical importance.

Also of critical importance are investments in dementia, respiratory diseases and certain cancers, three causes of death The ABS reported increased in 2018.

Dementia increased from 32.3 deaths per 100,000 people in 2009 to 41.2 in 2018. Cancers accounted for more than 30 per cent of all deaths, while lower respiratory diseases—including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—were the fifth leading cause of death in 2018.

The Government is investing $185 million over 11 years from 2018-19 in The Ageing, Aged Care and Dementia Mission, and $31 million over three years in the National Dementia Support Program.

In 2017-18, the Government expenditure for cancer was almost $3.4 billion. This included:

  • $20.64 million for Cancer Programs
  • $108.40 million for Screening Programs
  • $201.64 million for Cancer Research
  • $2.94 billion for treatments costs
  • $92.22 million for other cancer related items

The Morrison Government is committed to building a mentally and physically healthy Australia through increased funding in mental health, primary care, hospitals, medical research and preventive health

Our Government is able to provide unprecedented levels of support to health and medical research because of our strong economic management.

Ministers: