NSW Government $5m for critical research and patient support to address Silicosis crisis


The NSW Government has committed $5 million in critical funding for silicosis research and a patient support program for individuals and their families navigating the health risks associated with exposure to silica dust.

Building on the world-first manufactured stone ban, the NSW Government today delivers on its election commitment to support research which centres firmly on silica dust-related disease diagnosis, treatment and care.

The grant funding, administered collaboratively by icare and the Dust Diseases Board, will provide a total of $5 million over 3 years to the Asbestos and Dust Diseases Research Institute (ADDRI).

This funding enables research into prevention, diagnosis, therapeutic procedures, and treatment of silica dust-related diseases with the aim of improving outcomes for people diagnosed with silicosis.

ADDRI is currently working towards:

  • Accelerating and expanding laboratory-based research into silicosis (early diagnosis and treatments).
  • Reducing barriers to diagnosis by establishing a NSW specialist Dust Disease Multi-Disciplinary Team.
  • Improving GP education about dust diseases to reduce misdiagnosis.
  • Expanding collection of tissue samples through ADDRI’s Biobank.

Internationally regarded as a leader in their field, the institute’s goal is to save lives through three priority areas: laboratory research; clinical sciences; and prevention and public health.

icare, through the Dust Diseases Board, has a grants programs which has delivered investment into dust disease research, including providing funding to the Asbestos Diseases Foundation Australia, the Lung Foundation Australia and research programs at the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney among others in financial year 2022-23.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis:

“Last year we led the country in calling for a ban on manufactured stone, to protect the lives of workers so that no one else is exposed to this substance.

“Even after the ban, anyone who has ever worked with engineered stone remains at risk of developing silicosis. Today’s funding announcement delivers on our election promise to invest in research and care programs for NSW workers living with silicosis.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Medical Research David Harris:

“With this funding, we will put NSW at the forefront of research in this vital area – working with industry partners to better understand the occurrence of silicosis in the community.

“We owe it to our community to do everything we can to find better treatments and improve the health outcomes of those living with a silicosis diagnosis.”

Quotes attributable to ADDRI CEO Kim Brislane:

“It’s great to have the support of the NSW Government through this funding commitment, to stopping preventable death due to silicosis and improve the lives of those already diagnosed with dust-related diseases.

“This funding allows us to build on our program of research into prevention, diagnosis, therapeutic procedures, and treatments of silicosis in Australia.”

Quotes attributable to Dr Nick Allsop, Group Executive for Lifetime Care at icare:

“Through the Dust Diseases Board we are working closely with ADDRI to develop better care for workers currently living with silicosis, and improving treatment outcomes for the future.

“Silicosis is a progressive disease, which means it may develop even if there is no further exposure to silica dust. Research is our best chance to uncover ways to prevent silicosis and stop its progression. For people already affected by silicosis, this funding aims to establish effective support programs targeting quality of life and wellbeing.”

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