Clinical quality registries are an overlooked and under-funded arm of clinical research in Australia. Registries are databases for patients with a particular disease, or who undergo a procedure, or use a health resource. Registries, where properly funded and universally adopted, have provided substantial benefits to the quality of healthcare and, in some cases, have had demonstrable effect in reducing costs. There is a lack of a coordinated programme for both funding and development of registries in Australia. A coordinated effort is required to address key gaps in registry coverage and ensure registries comply with appropriate technical and operating principles, and target areas where registries can add value to the health system. This will ensure that Australia is competitive with its international peers in this dynamic environment.