16 May 2024

The 2024-25 federal Budget provides welcome new investment of $23.7m over two years for hepatitis B and hepatitis C initiatives: 

•    $7.8m for pilot hepatitis B projects
•    $6m for hepatitis C projects 
•    $9.9m to expand the hepatitis C point of care testing. 

The Government has also announced Hepatitis Australia will receive funding for its work leading the national effort to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health threats by 2030.

Darryl O’Donnell, Interim CEO for Hepatitis Australia, the peak community organisation representing the interests of people affected by hepatitis B and hepatitis C, said:

“There are nearly 300,000 people living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C in Australia.” 

“This investment means people will have access to more community support, more clinicians and more research.”

“We’re grateful the Government has heard our message that with more investment, we can accelerate efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis.” 

“The new national hepatitis strategies provide the roadmap to achieve elimination and have the backing of researchers, clinicians and community advocates. They represent a shift to a person-centred approach, prioritising community leadership in the delivery of programs and services.” 

“We must now get on with the task of implementation. The investment committed in this budget means we can now get to work delivering real outcomes for people affected by hepatitis B and hepatitis C,” said Mr O’Donnell. 

The investment will help deliver the Fourth National Hepatitis B Strategy 2023-2030 and Sixth National Hepatitis C Strategy 2023-2030 which are set for public release in coming months.

This represents a significant milestone in our progress to eliminate viral hepatitis and signals the Australian Government’s commitment to progressing action for affected communities.

The federal Budget also includes $94.9m over two years for responses to communicable diseases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We welcome this investment, acknowledging the importance of partnership and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in eliminating hepatitis B and hepatitis C. 

Hepatitis Australia looks forward to working with the Australian Government and partners to ensure these investments place communities at the centre and prioritise local action by communities.