ACT Labor’s plan to create a legacy of cancer research excellence


On average, Canberrans are the best educated, best paid and healthiest people in Australia.

Every year we are investing record levels of funding in our community, building a stronger local health system, investing in better schools and teachers, maintaining a strong local economy and creating more local jobs than ever before.

Through investments in facilities and people ACT Labor is building system with momentum, creating highly skilled jobs, delivering new services and harnessing world-leading research to provide the next jobs, the next models of care, the next new therapies that will help us live longer, healthier lives.

Our universities are key to this.  They educate our citizens to make sure we have the skills to grow as the clever capital.  They help drive our economy by creating jobs, bringing students to Canberra and creating ideas.  They contribute to a healthier society by training health professionals and making research breakthroughs.

Every year we work to support our universities in their mission – and thereby safeguard Canberra’s health and wealth.

That’s why this week we announced our commitment to build the University of Canberra Public Hospital.

Not only will it increase the capacity of our hospital system, but it will attract bright students to Canberra, train new health professionals and provide new opportunities for research.

Similarly we are building capability and investing in connections at the ANU – home to the prestigious John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), and the ANU Medical School.

We are continuing to invest in health services and infrastructure, including the new, world-class Canberra Region Cancer Centre, which will open in 2013.  ACT Labor is committed to helping our health, education and research sectors work together to tackle the health challenges we face head on.

That’s why, if re-elected ACT Labor will partner with the ANU to provide $1.5 million to support the establishment of high profile Centenary Chair in Cancer Research at JCSMR.

The Chair will be closely linked with the Canberra Region Cancer Centre and enhance collaboration between clinicians and researchers, building research capacity in the health system and giving researchers access to clinical expertise and settings.

Policy costings

ACT Labor will provide $1.5 million over three years as start-up funding to create a Centenary Chair in Cancer Research contingent on ongoing funding from ANU.

Further funding will come from ANU itself and philanthropic donations.  The $1.5 million in funding will be used for recruitment costs, laboratory set up and running costs and initial salaries of support staff.  Some of the start-up funds will also be used to establish an Endowment Fund to provide long-term (research) support for the position.

ACT Labor to create a legacy of cancer research excellence


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How will this high level position help secure our economic future?

ACT Labor’s vision for Canberra is built on the foundations of education, health and jobs.  The Centenary Chair in Cancer Research supports all three.  The new Professor is likely to be accompanied by a research team and could bring in more than a million dollars a year in research funding.

We are building an education based economy for Canberra’s second century.  The Centenary Chair, together with our commitment to build the University of Canberra Public Hospital are ways ACT Labor is supporting the interconnected nature of education, health and jobs creation.

Why do we need a Centenary Chair in Cancer Research?

There are already collaborations in cancer research between Canberra Hospital clinicians and researchers at JCSMR, but the new Canberra Region Cancer Centre brings with it new opportunities for them to work together.

A new Chair in Cancer Research within JCSMR will create a focal point for researchers working on different fronts of the battle against cancer. Similarly it will be a natural point of contact for clinicians in the ACT who are interested in research.

A coordinated hub of cancer research will evolve around the new Centenary Chair in Cancer Research, attracting students, researchers and grant funding to Canberra.  In addition to helping tackle this deadly disease the ideas generated will bring commercial returns that benefit the ACT economy.  Outside government, education and research are the ACT’s major industries and the establishment of the Chair will help the knowledge economy grow in Canberra.

How will it be funded?

The funding model for the chair will see an endowment created which will initially be funded in partnership by the ACT Labor Government and ANU, but with further funds generated through philanthropic donations from the business community and private donors. It will establish an ongoing partnership between government, higher education, business and the wider community.

Support from the ACT Labor Government will be contingent on ANU setting aside $5 million to fund the position on a permanent basis.

The Centenary Chair in Cancer Research will become a sustainable, lasting legacy that will continue benefit our city as we begin our second century and make an ongoing contribution to the global fight against cancer behalf of all Canberrans.