Date published: 
25 March 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Liberal National Government invest almost half a billion dollars to make Victoria a centre for health, medical research and innovative cancer treatments.

Our Government will invest $460 million in a range of health and medical research centres throughout the state that will save and protect lives.

We will invest $80 million to create the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Peter Mac will also be investing $25 million bringing the total investment in the new facility to $105 million.

This new national centre will revolutionise cancer treatment and allow Australia to become a global leader in this crucial medical frontier. Immunotherapies and CAR T-cell therapy are a new frontier in cancer treatment that allows the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

CAR T-cell Therapy has the potential to cure cancer. It involves removing a patients T cells (a type of immune system cell) re-engineering them in a lab and reinserting them back into the body to attack and kills the cancer cells. This investment will make Australia a global leader in this new potentially curative treatment.

This investment in the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy will see:

  • More than 50 patients per year will be treated on life changing clinical trials for and CAR T-cell therapy and other immunotherapies.
  • Over 140 new manufacturing jobs will be created.
  • 15 new clinical and pre-clinical research jobs will be immediately created.
  • 1,700 square meters of space will be fitted out with Good Manufacturing Grade clean rooms for cellular immunotherapy manufacturing.
  • 900 square meters of space will be fitted out to create a 14 bed/chair clinical unit.

Our Government will contribute $30 million to the St Vincent’s Hospital Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery - Australia’s first hospital-based biomedical engineering research and training hub.

Research at the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery is already improving and saving lives with researchers at the Centre preventing the onset of osteoarthritis in patients by using 3D technology to print live adult stem cells to repair damaged cartilage and save joints.

Our Government values the mental health of our young people. We will invest $16 million over four years to support the development of eight new headspace services in Victoria. This includes two new full centres and six satellite services.

We will provide almost $25 million so Australians with cancer and rare diseases have access to clinical trials no matter where they live including regional and remote Victoria.

Our Government will provide funding support to Australian Clinical Trials Network’s TrialHub, which is a collaboration between Monash University and Alfred Health.

The program aims to help patients in regional and remote areas access breakthroughs in medical treatment that can be life-saving.

Hospitals in Rosebud, Casey and Bendigo in Victoria will be the first hospitals to partner with the TrialHub.

The Liberal National Government is providing $25 million to help establish a new national Drug Discovery Centre that aims to turn scientific discoveries into new medicines faster.

The centre, at Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, will help bring lifesaving medicines to patients with the help of advanced robotic gear.

This discovery provides the starting point for the development of new medicines. Our investment in this important Drug Discovery Centre will help researchers develop news drugs to treat both common and rare diseases and improve the quality of life of many Australians.

Our Government will provide a total of $40 million to construct paediatric emergency departments inside the existing emergency departments of Geelong, Maroondah, Frankston and Casey hospitals.

This project will develop emergency department facilities that are appropriate for families and children, leading to better clinical outcomes.

We will invest $32 million in a medical research hub in the Mornington Peninsula.

Peninsula Health and Monash University will partner to establish an Australian-first Health Futures Hub with research focused on community issues including aged care, addiction and mental health.

This will mean that the Mornington and Frankston communities will see the direct benefit from research that is undertaken in their community for their community.

The headspace program aims to improve access for young people aged 12 to 25 years who have, or are at risk of, mental illness.

headspace offers early intervention services across four key areas—mental health, related physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use.

This investment will build on vital mental health services for young Victorians facing mental health challenges. Victoria will have a total of 27 headspace centres and eight satellite services once the new headspace services are up and running.

We are also providing ten new MRI licences for Victoria, which will allow patients to receive life-saving Medicare subsidised scans.

MRI machines with Medicare eligibility will be available at sites including Epping, Heidelberg, Lilydale, Keilor East, Parkville, Moorabbin, Berwick, Olympic Park, Geelong and Brighton.

An MRI is a commonly used medical scan which gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels.

It is used by doctors to diagnose and monitor number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries. These scans save and protect lives.