House debates

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Questions without Notice


2:55 pm

Photo of Nola MarinoNola Marino (Forrest, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Will the minister update the House on how the government's plan to keep our economy strong is guaranteeing the essential services Australians rely on, without having to increase taxes, including supporting Australia's science agencies?

2:56 pm

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Forrest for her question. I know how passionate she is about science and technology. The Liberal-National government is absolutely committed to a strong and growing science and technology sector, and we are able to do that because we have built a strong economy.

Today the Prime Minister and I announced the establishment of the National Science and Technology Council. That is the peak advisory body that is to support the Prime Minister and other ministers on science and technology. It will focus on the key science and technology challenges that are facing Australia and it will ensure that the government is receiving the best independent advice possible.

The coalition government supports science and technology. We have leading agencies, science agencies, here in Australia—CSIRO, ANSTO, AIMS—with world-leading scientists here, and the coalition government continues to invest in them. The coalition government has invested $1.5 billion more in science agencies than Labor did. We have invested more money: $97 million more in CSIRO, $126 million more in ANSTO and $53 million more for the Australian Institute of Marine Science. The scientific advances that these investments support are going to attract talent. It's going to build our skills, it's going to create jobs, it's going to unlock discoveries and it is going to enable Australian industry and businesses to thrive. For example, the coalition government invested about $520 million in the Australian Synchrotron through the National Innovation and Science Agenda. A new technique has now been developed by Australian researchers that will assist in the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, and that was all thanks to the strong economy that the government has been able to build, which enables us to invest in our leading science agencies.

On top of that, we have invested $41 million to establish the Australian Space Agency, which is going to grow jobs from 10,000 to an additional 20,000 by the year 2030. Let me say this: while those opposite were staring into space, the coalition government was the government that made space a reality.