Date published: 
6 November 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government has formalised $67.6 million for Northern Territory critical infrastructure, to expand Australia’s capacity to respond to disasters and health emergencies in Australia and the surrounding region.

The Darwin-based National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre’s (NCCTRC) reputation as a world leader in disaster and health emergency response continues to go from strength to strength, with the opening of new facilities at Darwin airport and funding certainty from the Morrison Government.

Under a new project agreement with the Northern Territory Government, the Morrison Government is allocating $67.6 million for the continued operation and development of the NCCTRC’s national and regional response capability, and its maintenance of a state of readiness to rapidly respond to disasters and health emergencies.

The NCCTRC was born out of the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, 88 of whom were Australian, and wounded hundreds more. Established in 2005, the NCCTRC has since attracted national and international recognition for its role in providing a coordinated national approach to disaster preparedness and trauma response.

Out of the tragedy of Bali has come a world-class centre of disaster and health emergency preparedness and capability building, able to respond rapidly both onshore and offshore throughout the Asia-Pacific. I applaud its team for their skills and commitment.

The renewed funding will enable the NCCTRC to continue to respond to incidents of national and regional significance and operate as a hub of evidence-based emergency care, research and education.

The NCCTRC trains, prepares and coordinates volunteer personnel from across the nation to form deployable Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT). These teams consist of multidisciplinary health professionals from all states and territories, working together to respond to health emergencies within Australia and abroad.

While still maintaining a presence at Royal Darwin Hospital providing trauma and critical care and surge capacity to ensure the Top End is equipped, prepared and ready, the NCCTRC is now in a purpose-built facility at Darwin International Airport. From here, it is able to activate Australia’s first fully-equipped deployable field hospital.

The NCCTRC has recently been formally accredited by Australia’s largest health care accreditation provider, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. This means it is effectively meeting internationally-recognised health standards and providing safe, quality care to patients.