Bill gifts $50m to fight di­a­betes

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - AN­NIKA SMETHURST

THE quest to find a cure for type 1 di­a­betes will be given a mul­ti­mil­lion-dollar boost if La­bor wins the next elec­tion.

In his first ma­jor an­nounce­ment for 2019, La­bor leader Bill Shorten (pic­tured) will kick off his elec­tion-year cam­paign today with a pledge of $50 mil­lion for the re­search arm of the Ju­ve­nile Di­a­betes Re­search Foun­da­tion.

The cur­rent fund­ing is due to ex­pire in June 2019 – weeks after polling day – prompt­ing La­bor to ex­tend and in­crease its com­mit­ment for a fur­ther five years to 2024.

More than 122,000 Aus­tralians suf­fer from type 1 di­a­betes, a life­long auto-im­mune dis­ease which is es­ti­mated to cost the Aus­tralian health sys­tem more than $400 mil­lion each year.

If elected, La­bor will in­clude the ex­tra cash in its first bud­get with funds to flow to the foun­da­tion’s s Clin­i­cal Re­search Net­work from June to o avoid a fund­ing g gap.

The money y will boost the e num­ber of clin­i­cal tri­als, help trans­late re­search into life­sav­ing tech­nolo­gies l i and sup­port Aus­tralia’s lead­ing di­a­betes re­searchers in their bid to find a cure.

The net­work’s head of re- search de­vel­op­ment, Dr Dorota Pawlak, wel­comed the fund­ing pledge telling The Sun­day Mail the money would en­sure vi­tal re­search to con­tinue with­out in­ter­rup­tion. “If our fund­ing st stops it means no n new projects can start st and if there are a new leads we won’t be able to do the work,” Dr Pawlak P said. With the fund­ing fu com­mit­ment m de­pen­dant on La­bor Lab win­ning the elec­tion, Dr Pawlak urged the Coali­tion to con­tinue to sup­port the Clin­i­cal Re­search Net­work after it’s cur­rent com­mit­ment ex­pired.

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