Planning for the Best

Tripartite National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology 2012-2022

Preface and Acknowledgements

The Tripartite Committee is the peak group representing the three key professions in the radiation oncology sector: Radiation Oncology, Radiation Oncology Medical Physics and Radiation Therapy. The Tripartite Committee is a conjoint committee of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology (RANZCR); the Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR); and the Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM).

The Tripartite National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology sets out to inform the radiation oncology sector by reviewing:

  • The current strategic issues in the sector;
  • The contemporary data and forward projections on key resources;
  • The trends likely to affect the sector;
  • Strategic objectives and recommendations.

Over the past decade, since the 2001 Tripartite National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology and the 2002 report of the Baume Inquiry ‘A vision for radiotherapy’, a number of developments have taken place in the radiation oncology sector. The Tripartite Committee agreed that a re-evaluation of Australia-wide and sector-wide issues was timely. The focus of the 2012 Plan is firmly placed on identifying current issues that impact on radiation oncology and considering their likely progression over the next decade.

A key aspect in the development of the Plan was engagement of clinical leaders and experts from across the professions of Radiation Oncology, Radiation Therapy, Radiation Oncology Medical Physics and other healthcare groups; jurisdictional and Commonwealth policy-makers; planners, decision-makers and consumers.

The scope of the Plan was formally established by the Tripartite Committee to include: trends in the sector, quality matters, standards, workforce, resources, rural and regional access issues, Indigenous access issues and research issues. The timeframe for the Plan is 2012-2022. The Plan approaches radiation oncology from a national perspective. Information specific to jurisdictions is provided only where it is considered particularly relevant or informative.

The areas outside the scope of the Plan were also agreed by the Tripartite Committee and these are: review of agreed benchmarks and parameters for workforce, equipment or service utilisation; consideration of structural configurations and workflows within individual radiation oncology departments or services; review of requirements associated with specific cancer types; review and critique of work undertaken by specific organisations.

The Tripartite Committee is indebted to the many individuals and organisations who have contributed to the development of this Plan. We are grateful for their time and expertise. A full list of contributors is included below.

The opinions and or views contained in this document are those of the Tripartite Committee. Although the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing funded the development of this work, it does not endorse the views, opinions, standards or information expressed in this document.


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists has received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing for the Tripartite Committee to undertake a project to develop a new Tripartite National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology (Australia).

The Tripartite Committee would like to acknowledge the contributions made by individuals and organisations as part of the stakeholder consultation to inform the development of the Plan and as experts advising the content of the Plan. The committee extends our gratitude to all those who took the time to make a submission.

Tripartite Committee Members in 2011 and 2012

  • A/Prof Chris Milross (Chair), RANZCR
  • Ms Natalia Vukolova, RANZCR
  • Dr Brigid Hickey, RANZCR
  • Mr Don Swinbourne, RANZCR
  • Dr Ian Roos, Cancer Voices Australia (2012)
  • Dr Sean Geoghegan, ACPSEM (2012)
  • A/Prof Eva Bezak, ACPSEM (2011)
  • Mr Michael Bailey, ACPSEM
  • Mr Geoff Barbaro, ACPSEM (2012)
  • Mr Gary Disher, ACPSEM (2011)
  • Ms Joanne Page, AIR
  • Mr Bruce Harvey, AIR (2011)
  • Mr Leigh Smith, AIR
  • Mr David Collier, AIR

The Project Team

The team was led by Ms Natalia Vukolova.

Team members included:

  • Ms Nimi Kuruvila
  • Ms Legend Lee
  • Ms Aimee Lovett
  • Mr Nick Bradshaw
  • Mr Philip Munro
  • Mr Emmet O’Cuana
  • Ms Freya St Julian
  • Mr Shane Hayes

External Consultants

Mr John Bell and Ms Meg Kingsley from The Allen Consulting Group.

Graphic Artists

Mr Murray Bunton and the team at Streetline Media.

Special Mention

We are very grateful for the extra time and advice provided by Prof Michael Barton and Prof Graeme Morgan, their assistance was invaluable.

Board Members

Members of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Board, RANZCR

Members of the Radiation Therapy Advisory Panel, AIR

Members of the College Council, ACPSEM

Stakeholders who made a Submission

  • Department of Health and Ageing
  • Queensland Health
  • Australian Capital Territory Government Health Directorate
  • Tasmania Department of Health and Human Resources
  • Western Australia Department of Health
  • Northern Territory Department of Health and Families
  • Western Australia Department of Health – Medical Workforce
  • Tasmania Department of Health and Human Resources – Workforce
  • South Australia Department of Health – Workforce
  • New South Wales Ministry of Health – Strategy and Resources
  • New South Wales Ministry of Health – Capital Planning
  • New South Wales Ministry of Health
  • Cancer Voices Australia
  • Cancer Voices NSW
  • Medical Oncology Group of Australia
  • Clinical Oncological Society of Australia
  • Cancer Council QLD
  • Cancer Council NSW
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Cancer Australia
  • Cancer Nurses Society Australia
  • Health Workforce Australia
  • Can Assist
  • Rural Doctors Association of Australia
  • The Royal College of Physicians
  • Genesis Health
  • Oceania Oncology
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Mater Sydney Radiation Oncology Nucletron


Radiation Oncologists Submissions: 46

Radiation Oncology Medical Physicists Submissions: 49

Radiation Therapist Submissions: 24

Submissions In Confidence: 6

Experts and Contributors

  • Prof Chris Hamilton
  • Prof David Ball
  • Prof Eva Raik
  • Prof Geoff Delaney
  • Prof Gillian Duchesne
  • Prof Michael Barton
  • A/Prof Graeme Morgan
  • A/Prof Jeremy Millar
  • A/Prof Michael Poulsen
  • A/Prof Tom Shakespeare
  • Dr David Pryor
  • Dr Gerard Fogarty
  • Dr James MacKean
  • Dr John Leung
  • Dr Joseph Bucci
  • Dr Keen Hun Tai
  • Dr Marjorie Pawsey
  • Dr Mark Sidhom
  • Dr Michael Izard
  • Dr Michael Penniment
  • A/Prof Sandra Turner
  • Dr Vanessa Estall
  • Mr Abel Macdonald
  • Mr Adam Chapman
  • Mr Brian Porter
  • Mr John Shakeshaft
  • Mr John Stubbs
  • Ms Gail Garvey
  • Mr Mario Perez
  • Mr Mark Middelton
  • Ms Katheryn Churcher
  • Ms Marianne Rinks
  • Ms Mary Macheras
  • Mr Paul Cardew
  • Mr Paul Grogan
  • Ms Rachael Kearvell
  • Mr Rodney Hammond
  • Mr Sam Thorp
  • Ms Sue Young
  • Ms Thu Tran