The Morrison Government has this week ruled out funding for the Ballarat Innovation and Research Collaboration for Health (BIRCH), says Federal Member for Ballarat Catherine King.
At the May election only Labor recognised the importance of this project, promising to invest $10 million in the project.
Last month Catherine King wrote to Greg Hunt, the Minister for Health, calling on the Government to invest in the infrastructure that our growing region needs.
This week Ms King received a reply from Minister Hunt, identifying no funding pathways for BIRCH.
“This is a very disappointing outcome for our community”, Ms King said.
“BIRCH would build on Ballarat’s already strong reputation when it comes to health and health training.”
“This project would turn Ballarat into a centre of learning, attracting researchers and research funding to our community, while also allowing Ballarat’s medical students to carry out their research close to home.”
“Importantly, the research carried out at BIRCH would lead to better health outcomes for residents in Ballarat and across the country”.
“Ballarat is already a hub for medical care, innovation and research – the Government should invest to make that even better.”
“It is time for the Government to stop playing games and invest in the urgent infrastructure needs of Ballarat and our region”.
“The Government is there to serve the entire country – not just marginal and Liberal electorates”.
A collaboration between Ballarat’s two hospitals and six universities, BIRCH would develop Ballarat into a renowned and innovative health care research hub.
The hospitals and universities involved in the project are:
• St John of God Hospital
• Ballarat Base Hospital
• Federation University
• Deakin University
• Melbourne University
• Australian Catholic University
• Notre Dame University
• La Trobe University
BIRCH would see education, clinical training and simulation spaces to be moved into the single site, allowing interaction, research cooperation and a higher standard of learning.