Almost $40 million for new and improved services to support Queenslanders with eating disorders

Published Thursday, 07 September, 2023 at 11:53 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • Almost $40 million will be invested in community-based eating disorder services
  • Two new eating disorder specialist services will be delivered and existing services across Queensland will be expanded
  • 34 additional staff will be hired across Queensland
  • The investment – part of the $1.64 billion Better Care Together plan – is being funded through the Government’s Mental Health Levy

The Palaszczuk Government is investing almost $40 million to deliver the most comprehensive network of eating disorder services in Queensland’s history.

Queensland’s Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman, made the announcement while visiting Eating Disorders Queensland, who are receiving $2.4 million in additional funding as part of the announcement.

The announcement also coincides with Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week (September 4-10), an opportunity to raise awareness and show support for the estimated 1 million Australians living with an eating disorder.

Other community-based services across Queensland will also receive vital cash injections and additional staff under the multi-million-dollar investment.

The funding boosts will include:

  • $7 million for Metro South Health to establish a new eating disorder specialist service by the end of 2023
  • $6.7 million for Darling Downs and West Moreton to operate a combined service in 2024
  • Over $12 million to expand operations in Gold Cast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Hinterland, and Townsville Hospital and Health Services
  • $6 million for NGO services

Funding will also go toward employing an additional 34 staff across the state to treat people with an eating disorder, train other staff, and reduce waiting times to access care.

The services delivered will include:

  • An expansion of telehealth services, including in rural and regional areas
  • Psychological, family and behavioural therapies, and
  • Nutritional education and dietetics.

The funding boost is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.64 billion Better Care Together plan, a five-year plan funded by the Mental Health Levy to strengthen mental health, alcohol and other drug support and services.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:

“Since becoming Minister for Health and Mental Health, I have made it my commitment to expand the level of mental health and eating disorder support and treatment services.

“We know how serious of a public health concern this is, with evidence suggesting eating disorder rates have increased in recent decades.

“That is why we are spending almost $40 million to hire more staff and establish new and expanded eating disorder services across Queensland.”

“This will mean people with an eating disorder will have greater access to the support, treatment and care they need, closer to home.”

“This record investment is possible thanks to our government’s Mental Health Levy, which is funding this vital investment in mental health and eating disorder services.

“Better Care Together is also helping to recruit 1,400 new staff and delivering support for non-government providers to deliver community-based activities.”

Quotes Attributable to Belinda Chelius, CEO of Eating Disorders Queensland:

Eating disorders are complex conditions with severe physical, emotional, and social consequences, and require specialised treatment by trained professionals and peer support. 

This funding will allow us to provide more individual and carer lived-experience support, especially in regional and remote areas.

Eating Disorders Queensland and the Eating Disorder Community is grateful for this continued funding, and applaud the enhancement of new specialist eating disorder services through Hospital and Health Services under the “Better Care Together” Plan. 


Media contact: Phoenix Campbell 0439 949 719