Background There are few Australian studies showing how research evidence is used to inform the development of public health policy. International research has shown that compensation for injury rehabilitation can have negative impacts on health outcomes. This study examined transport injury compensation policy in the Australian state of Victoria to: determine type and purpose of reference to information sources; and to identify the extent of reference to academic research evidence in transport related injury rehabilitation compensation policy. Methods Quantitative content analysis of injury rehabilitation compensation policies (N = 128) from the Victorian state government transport accident compensation authority. Results The most commonly referenced types of information were Internal Policy (median = 6 references per policy), Clinical/Medical (2.5), and Internal Legislation (1). Academic Research Evidence was the least often referenced source of information. The main purpose of reference to information was to support injury treatment and rehabilitation compensation claims decision-making. Conclusions Transport injury compensation policy development is complex; with multiple sources of information cited including legislation, internal policy, external policy and clinical/medical evidence. There is limited use of academic research evidence in Victorian state government injury treatment and rehabilitation compensation policies. Decisions regarding compensation for injury treatment and rehabilitation services could benefit from greater use of academic research evidence. This study is one of the first to examine the use of research evidence in existing Australian public health policy decision-making using rigorous quantitative methods. It provides a practical example of how use of research evidence in public health policy can be objectively measured.