Speech to Parliament 17 August 2016 – Prince Charles Hospital; biomedical and life sciences industry

17 August 2016 –

Tonight I rise to share with the House the great work done by the Prince Charles Hospital in the electorate of Stafford.

The Ekka was in town the past week and a half and thousands of people enjoyed a traditional strawberry sundae. Five stalls at the Ekka were raising money for the Prince Charles Hospital. I personally blistered on behalf of the Prince Charles Hospital – scooping out the strawberry sunades. Every sundae contributed to funding a total of about 4,000 hours of innovative medical research.

Over the course of more than 20 years of being a doctor I saw firsthand the benefit of these lifesaving developments, especially those developed right here in Queensland. I am very proud to represent an electorate that has a hospital doing such wonderful things for not only the people of Queensland but also the glabal medical industry. I am also very proud to continue this innovation as Minister for State Development.

Last month I invited North Brisbane’s sciences sector to contribute to the development of Queensland’s burgeoning biomedical and life sciences industry. I hosted a special forum at The Prince Charles Hospital where experts from my Department of State Development briefed industry leaders on the Palaszczuk government’s recently released biomedical and life sciences road map discussion paper. The forum was just one in a series of forums to be held across Queensland.

Northern Brisbane is a biomedical and life sciences hub with exciting practices being undertaken in hospitals such as The Prince Charles and Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital. The highest concentration of healthcare workers in Queensland is in my electorate of Stafford. As both the Minister for State Development and a doctor, I am extremely interested in hearing from the district’s science community about further developing Queensland’s biomedical and life sciences sector and generating more jobs of the future for the students of today.

The Palaszczuk government is committed to generating high-tech jobs of the future by taking our growing community of research centres and start-up companies to not only a national but also a global level. We have a robust research sector and existing strengths in a range of areas, including genetic/genomic services, bio fabrication, early phase clinical trials and manufacturing of niche pharmaceutical products, medical devices and diagnostics.

We want input from industry, academia and the community about how and where we can turn ideas into products and start-ups into leaders to generate jobs and business opportunities. We want jobs, not just for the people of my electorate of Stafford but for all Queenslanders.

The latest figures show that the biomedical industry in Queensland has a total annual income of $2.7 billion. The therapeutic medicines and devices subsector employs more than 6,000 people in Queensland. When I release the biomedical and life sciences action plan later this year I want it to be a 10-year road map to high-tech jobs for the students and researchers in our schools and universities now.