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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 4081


Mr HAYES (Fowler) (09:50): Recently I had the opportunity to visit the construction site of what will become the most advanced medical research facility in Australia, and quite possibly in the world, the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research in Liverpool. The Ingham institute will provide a base for 200 research staff who are currently working in various hospitals across Western Sydney. Thanks to a $49 million grant from the federal government, the construction is likely to be finalised in mid-June, with the opening scheduled to be in October this year.

Established in 1996, the Ingham institute is a unique collaboration between the health services of south-west Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the University of Western Sydney. It is one of the few medical institutes in Australia that brings together two strong university partners while linking to a major general hospital, being the newly refurbished Liverpool Hospital.

The Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research is a charitable organisation that facilitates cutting edge research on a range of diseases affecting the local community. Core research areas for the institute include cancer, injury, population health, brain science and mental health, cardiovascular disease, infectious and inflammatory diseases and early years. The focus on translating findings into practical clinical outcomes is paramount. The researchers working throughout Western Sydney will now be able to come together under one roof and enjoy first-class facilities and equipment.

I walked through the construction site with the Ingham institute chairman, Terry Goldacre; institute directors John Hexton and Arnold Vitocco; the research director, Professor Michael Barton OAM; and the institute's chief operating officer, Associate Professor Greg Kaplan. The site will have open access to enable a team based collaborative working environment for all its medical researchers. One of the exciting things is that the new facility will have a clinical skills and simulator centre and a research bunker. The research bunker will include the much anticipated cancer therapy MRI coupled lineal accelerator, which recently received a significant $5.7 million program grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Having this facility in Liverpool will undoubtedly shine a positive light on south-west Sydney and will impact on medical research in Australia and undoubtedly internationally as well.