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Call for daylight savings to be cancelled

There are growing calls from health professionals around the world to scrap daylight savings, with warnings turning clocks forward for half the year can have significant health impacts.

An Australian professor has spoken out about some of the health risks associated with changing the clocks, warning the health risks could be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor of diabetes at Monash University, Paul Zimmet, told 3AW the Victorian Health Department needed to consider the negative impacts of the upcoming change to daylight.

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“In terms of the scientific evidence, which we will want to stick with at the moment, there are more heart attacks just after daylight savings, more road accidents, and then you’ve got workplace accidents, car accidents and their implications,” he said.

“There is also cognitive dysfunction in relation to the daylight savings and the change in timing to our normal body rhythms.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews shut down the possibility of cancelling daylight savings when asked about Prof Zimmet’s comments during Wednesday’s press conference.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to the professor, who may be a very learned individual. No. Daylight savings will be proceeding,” Mr Andrews said.

“That’s why the curfew changes, that extra hour is really important, well ahead of daylight saving.”

Mr Andrews said the extra hour of daylight would hopefully help make the summer “like no other”.

“If we stay the course we’ll be able to get close to normal, COVID normal but close to normal, but people will be able to go out and enjoy the city, enjoy the state, enjoy being back at work, enjoy a sense of confidence as they go into 2021 and you know what they’ll enjoy most? They’ll enjoy the fundamental truth that all that they’ve given, all that they’ve done count counted for something,” the premier said.

“It wasn’t frittered away. It wasn’t because pressure came on a bad decision was made, the wrong decision was made. We’ve got to avoid that.

“This will be a summer like no other and daylight saving, I can confirm, will be a feature of it.”

Daylight savings will kick off at 2am on October 4, with residents in NSW, Victoria, the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania turning their clocks forward by an hour.

The debate around daylight savings ramped up last year when the European parliament voted to scrap changing the clocks from 2021.

From next year, countries that are part of the EU will be able to choose whether they want to stay on permanent summer” or “permanent winter” time.

Under the proposal, those that chose permanent summer would adjust their clocks for the last time on the last Sunday of March 2021, and those that choose winter will do so on the last Sunday of March 2021.

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