The growing antibiotic-resistant infections are a "looming public health issue" for Australia that needs urgent new funding, the country's top scientist warned.
"Antibiotic resistance has the potential to become one of the world's biggest public health challenges, requiring a serious response from our scientists, our industries and the community at large," Ian Chubb, Australia's chief scientist, told the Guardian Australia.
A report by the Office of the Chief Scientist said there is "a genuine threat of humanity returning to an era where mortality due to common infections such as skinned knees and sore throats is rife."
The report said "misuse and overuse" of antibiotics for animal husbandry, for driving up resistance levels in humans.
"Some bacteria are now so resistant that they are virtually untreatable with any of the currently available drugs," the report said.