Labor will fund La Trobe Rural Road Trauma Research Hub

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is proud to announce a Labor Government will contribute $2 million towards establishing the Rural Road Trauma Research Hub at La Trobe University’s Bendigo Campus.

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

90 lives have been lost on Victorian roads this year and more than half of those fatalities have been in rural areas.

Sadly, five of those lives were lost on the weekend just gone and this year’s road toll is 50 per cent higher than it was in 2018.

“It’s a matter of urgency that more time and resources are spent on reducing those numbers,” Chesters said.

“Every fatality, and every serious injury on our roads someone’s loved one.”

The Rural Road Trauma Research Hub would combine research expertise from across La Trobe’s Bendigo campus, including in rural health, psychology, pharmacy, engineering, planning, education and law.

As part of the innovative model, research would focus on reducing the disproportionate number of people who die and are seriously injured on Australia’s rural roads each year.

“The proposed hub would examine the social and economic impact of serious road injury on regional communities and how this can be reduced,” Chesters said.

The $2million was the Federal Government ask from La Trobe University and under Labor the funding will be delivered in two parts; $1 million in 2020/21 and $1million in 2021/22.

Head of La Trobe’s Rural Health School, Professor Pamela Snow said she warmly welcomed the funding commitment.

“Labor’s announcement today validates our Research Hub proposal and further deepens our commitment to getting this project off the ground,” she said.

"This funding would enable us to recruit a Director and small number of senior researchers, who would immediately start work on establishing the Research Hub, and leveraging further funding to expand our staff."

"It is exactly the commitment we were hoping for from Lisa Chesters, who has been very supportive of this proposal from the beginning."

"It is also a strong vote of confidence in our multidisciplinary capacity at La Trobe Bendigo to tackle a wicked problem that deeply affects rural communities.