On Wednesday 27 May Treasurer Joe Hockey introduced the legislation for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of the budget measures. While the legislation will pass the lower house we now have only a few weeks to ensure that the Senate also passes the MRFF legislation. The MRFF will provide an extra $1 billion a year for health and medical research by mid-2020 commencing with $400M additional funding over the next four years commencing with $10M this year.
“The MRFF is the single biggest improvement to support the funding to health and medical research we are likely to see for many years. Your support is crucial. However, we need the help of all staff, students and our community contacts to help make this happen. – Peter R Schofield PhD, CEO of Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).
Please send an email to cross-bench Senators asking them to vote for the MRFF Bill. For those of you active on social media, please comment via Twitter and Facebook in the coming three weeks. A template emails and some sample tweets are below but feel free to personalise your responses.
Key crossbench Senators to contact
Independents and other minor parties
Senator Nick Xenophon: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter
Senator Glenn Lazarus: email@example.com Twitter Facebook
Senator John Madigan: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter Facebook
Senator Bob Day AO: email@example.com Twitter Facebook
Senator Ricky Muir: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter
Senator Jacqui Lambie: email@example.com Twitter
Palmer United Party
Senator Dio Wang: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter
#keeptheMRFF @RichardDiNatale to secure the wellbeing of all Australians. Pls vote for a healthier future.
#keeptheMRFF, @SenatorLazarus, to save lives of Aussies with #Cancer, #diabetes, #dementia & #obesity & deliver Aust a healthier future.
#keeptheMRFF, @LambieJacqui, to support research into #PTSD & other #mentalhealth issues for defence forces. Give them a healthier future
Please vote to #keeptheMRFF @SenatorZWang to ensure #indigenous Australians have a healthier future through medical research. #closethegap
Some suggested wording for your email
I write to offer my support for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), the legislation for which was introduced to Parliament on 27 May 2015.
An active health and medical research sector in Australia is essential to the future wellbeing of all Australians, and our nation’s economic future. With more than seven million Australians living with a chronic illness, the MRFF offers the injection of funds Australia needs just when it is needed most.
As a [researcher/clinician/patient/family member of a patient] I have seen first-hand the impact that medical research can have through improving the quality of life of patients and reducing the impact of illness on families.
[If possible insert an example or two of research that is being undertaken at your institute/that you have involvement in/that you would like to see happen/stories of colleagues lost to overseas institutes due to a lack of funding]
The MRFF is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the landscape of medical research in Australia, delivering benefits to the health of Australians while helping secure our nation’s future through the maintenance and creation of the high value jobs that we so desperately need.
This is the sort of far-sighted public policy we so often encourage governments to undertake and it deserves the support of all sides of politics.
I urge you to support the passage of the MRFF through the Senate; after all, surgery and other interventions can save hundreds of lives, but medical research can save thousands, even millions, of lives here in Australia, and around the world.
Name and title