Breathe easy: Labor has pledged funding


La Trobe University Bendigo would house a new Rural Road Trauma Research Hub if Labor wins government at the next federal election.

Federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters announced that Labor would contribute $2 million towards establishing the hub.

“I’m thrilled to make this announcement. Road safety and the ongoing cost of care for those who are injured is an issue that is often raised with me,” Ms Chesters said.

The funding would be delivered in two parts, with $1 million in 2021/22 and $1 million in 2021/22.

The announcement was welcomed by the head of La Trobe’s Rural Health School, Professor Pamela Snow.

The funding would enable the school to recruit a director and small number of senior researchers, who would immediately start work on establishing the hub.

“This project is phenomenally important to La Trobe University Bendigo and regional Australians everywhere,” Ms Snow said.

Ninety lives have been lost on Victorian roads this year, with more than half of those fatalities in rural areas.

Ms Snow described rural road trauma as a “wicked problem of the 21st century.”

“We need researchers whose job it is to work with key stakeholders and regional communities to find innovative ways to tackle this problem,” she said. Nicholas Nakos