Ms MIKAKOS (Northern Metropolitan—Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services) (12:38): I rise to inform the house of how the 2019–20 Victorian budget is supporting our health and medical research sector and in particular how last week’s budget delivered $116.5 million to maintain Victoria’s leadership in health and medical research. The Andrews Labor government is investing in our hardworking researchers, clinicians and scientists because we know that they will find the next big breakthrough.
The funding in the budget will go towards the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research’s Australian Drug Discovery Centre to support the critical translation of new breakthroughs into new treatments; the Australian Clinical Trials Network, or TrialHub, to increase access to clinical trials, particularly for patients living in regional and rural Victoria; Victoria’s first gamma knife at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, which will provide more treatment options for Victorians in their fight against cancer; the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery, which will be Australia’s first research and education centre for biomedical engineering; and of course delivering on our election commitment to the Generation Victoria project, which is an investment in the health, development and wellbeing of Victoria’s children. These investments in health and medical research will help embed research in our health system and accelerate and translate the research into our hospitals and new treatments, diagnostics and drugs.
Our leadership is undeniable when you consider that Victoria consistently attracts 40 per cent or more of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s annual funding through competitive grants. Our government is very proud that we are making this investment. We remain a steadfast supporter of our health and medical research sector. It is really with great pride that we are making this investment and working side by side with our clinicians, our medical researchers and our scientists to make sure that Victorians can continue to access world-class health care here in Victoria.