Media Release

30 August 2018

Wooldridge: Increasing organ donation rates

Thursday 30 August 2018

Increasing organ donation rates 

Organ donation gives hope and changes people’s lives. One donor can change the lives of ten people.

That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will implement two key policies to increase organ donation rates and help change the lives of more Victorians.

A Liberal Nationals Government will work with VicRoads and the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) to return to a system where driver’s licence applications and renewals ask Victorians to register as an organ donor.

A Liberal Nationals Government will also significantly increase the number of individuals registering to donate their organs by committing $2 million for campaigns to promote organ donation registration in Victoria.

While Victorians are very generous in donating their organs, only 20% of Victorians are actually registered to be organ donors. This is the lowest rate of any state in Australia.

However, according to the Australian Government Organ and Tissue Authority, 69% of Australians are willing to become organ donors.

Organ transplants are predominantly kidney, liver and lungs, with many also donating eyes and tissue.

Families are always asked to confirm the organ donation decision of their loved one. If that person is registered, they agree to donation 90% of the time, but where they’re not registered and the family is unaware of their wishes that drops to just 44%. This is why registration is so important.

Last year 389 Victorians received a life-saving transplant from 148 deceased donors. However, approximately 1,400 Australians are currently on the waiting list and they can expect to wait from six months to four years or even longer for a transplant. In many cases the longer the delay the greater the risk of deteriorating health. Long waits are also incredibly stressful for patients and their family and friends.

To register to be an organ and tissue donor, visit:

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Health, Mary Wooldridge:

“Organ donation gives sick people and their families a second chance and it changes lives.

There are hundreds of desperate Victorians and their families currently waiting for an organ donation which is why this policy is so important.

Not everyone wants to be an organ donor and we absolutely respect that, but when research shows that 69% of Australians are willing to be donors we need to come up with ideas like these to assist in boosting numbers.

It’s now quite easy to register – I encourage every Victorian to learn about it, talk about it with their family and consider becoming an organ and tissue donor.”