Current Consultations

Research Australia regularly contributes to the policy discussions on issues pertinent to Health and Medical Research. This can be through submissions or participating in consultations.

The following list is consultations and invitations to make submissions which are relevant to health and medical research and/or health and innovation policy in Australia. Research Australia may not participate in every one however the list is updated regularly.

If you would like more information or you are aware of other consultations that should be included, please contact Greg Mullins, Head of Policy, Research Australia via email or phone (03) 9662 9420.

Please click the heading in the left hand column to access consultation information from the relevant website.



Sustainable Health Review Interim Report (WA)


Due 27 April 2018

The WA Minister for Health, Hon Roger Cook MLA announced the release of the Sustainable Health Review Interim Report on 27 February 2018.

The Interim report poses 12 ‘directions’ to improve sustainability, including greater use of data, technology and innovation; and better harnessing health and medical research, collaboration and innovation.

Responses can be provided via an online survey.

Mental health in rural and remote Australia


Due 11 May 2018

The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee is inquiring into ‘Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia’ with specific reference to:

(a) the nature and underlying causes of rural and remote Australians accessing mental health services at a much lower rate;

(b) the higher rate of suicide in rural and remote Australia;

(c) the nature of the mental health workforce;

(d) the challenges of delivering mental health services in the regions;

(e) attitudes towards mental health services;

(f) opportunities that technology presents for improved service delivery; and

(g) any other related matters.

The reporting date is 17 October 2018.

Mitochondrial Donation


Due 11 May 2018

The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee is also inquiring into:

(a) the science of mitochondrial donation and its ability to prevent transmission of mitochondrial disease;

(b) the safety and efficacy of these techniques, as well as ethical considerations;

(c) the status of these techniques elsewhere in the world and their relevance to Australian families;

(d) the current impact of mitochondrial disease on Australian families and the healthcare sector;

(e) consideration of changes to legal and ethical frameworks that would be required if mitochondrial donation was to be introduced in Australia;

(f) the value and impact of introducing mitochondrial donation in Australia; and

(g) other related matters.


The reporting date is 19 June 2018.

Mental Health of Emergency Workers



Due 20 June 2018

On 28 March, the Education and Employment References Committee established an Inquiry into the role of Commonwealth, state and territory Governments in addressing the high rates of mental health conditions experienced by first responders, emergency service workers and volunteers, with particular reference to:

a.   the nature and underlying causes of mental health conditions experienced by first responders, emergency service workers and volunteers;

b.   research identifying linkages between first responder and emergency service occupations, and the incidence of mental health conditions;

c.    management of mental health conditions in first responder and emergency services organisations, factors that may impede adequate management of mental health within the workplace and opportunities for improvement…; and

d.   any other related matters.

The Committee is due to report to the Senate by 5 December 2018.

Impediments to Business Investment



Due 11 May 2018

The Standing Committee on Economics will inquire into and report on:

a) the interaction between regulatory frameworks across all levels of Government and how the cumulative regulatory burden can be reduced to support greater business investment;

b) the impact of innovation policies, at the Commonwealth and State government levels, on business investment and the role of innovation policies in encouraging greater business investment, having regard to approaches taken in other countries;

c) the role that taxation policy, at the Commonwealth and State government levels, can have on the encouragement of new business investment;

d) the role that energy policies, at the Commonwealth and State government levels, can have on the encouragement of new business investment; and

e) the impact of supplier payment times, including by governments, on business investment for small to medium enterprises.


Gene Technology Regulation



Due 24 May 2018

The Department of Health is undertaking a consultation on the Preliminary Report of the Third Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme. Of particular relevance to health and medical research is the preliminary finding that

‘Making heritable changes to the human embryonic genome is prohibited in Australia; however, there remains a high level of interest in emerging science relating to the field of human gene therapies, and in ensuring that the Scheme is well placed to respond to any future changes that may arise.

Finding 5: The Review found that the Scheme was not designed to regulate humans, including those who have received or inherited germline therapies (or who have received somatic therapies that were not envisaged when the Gene Technology Act 2000 was drafted). Therefore, the Scheme is not the most appropriate means to regulate the application of human gene therapies (including any ethical, legal and social issues).

Any consideration of whether additional regulatory oversight is needed in this area may benefit from national collaboration across the health sector, to identify the most appropriate body to undertake this work.’

Stillbirth Research and Education


A Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education was established on 27 March.

The committee’s first inquiry will look at:

a)   funding for research,

b)   education priorities,

c)   availability of data to researchers,

d)   the role of the private sector and

e)   the impact of stillbirths of the economy.

The first report is due in early 2019. Further information about the inquiry is expected to be available shortly.