Senate debates

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Statements by Senators

Spinal Cord Injuries

1:30 pm

Photo of Linda ReynoldsLinda Reynolds (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today, approximately 20,800 Australians live with serious spinal cord injuries, often the result of very traumatic accidents. These injuries have a devastating impact on the quality of life and the health of not only these individuals but also their families, and they also take a toll financially. Around a quarter of those affected today are on the NDIS, which costs just under $1 billion per year for those people.

Traditionally, spinal cord injuries were considered a life sentence, with little hope for functional and quality-of-life improvement. Fortunately, today organisations like SpinalCure Australia are making remarkable developments in this field of research. I've had the great privilege of working with and supporting SpinalCure for several years now. Their Project Spark is an innovative research initiative focusing on neurostimulation. This technology has the very real potential to restore meaningful levels of feeling and mobility, which would significantly enhance the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries and those who love and support them.

It was a great privilege to welcome SpinalCure Australia to Perth last week and to host a number of meetings for them. We also had the opportunity to showcase the groundbreaking work NeuroMoves is doing at Edith Cowan University, in Joondalup, and I was delighted that my friend and colleague Ian Goodenough was able to join us to see what is happening there. We also had a great range of stakeholders who joined us, including Ability WA, The Parent Institute and the Insurance Commission of Western Australia.

Project Spark is now gearing up to establish the next clinical trial site at NeuroMoves, and needs $500,000 for clinical— (Time expired)