Monday, 18 February 2019
Questions without Notice
Industry, Technology and Science
My question is to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Will the minister update the House about how the government is able to create jobs and opportunities through investment in industry, science and technology? How would this investment be jeopardised by different approaches to budget management, including recklessly unravelling Australia's border protection regime?
I thank the member for Forrest for her question. I know how committed she is to building a strong economy and to growing jobs. Of course, everyone on this side of the House is absolutely committed to making sure that we are growing jobs in industry, science and technology.
Under Labor's watch, $16 billion was blown out because of their weak border protection policy. They have demonstrated that this could happen again. Now, that is $16 billion that could have been used as an investment in science, for new scientific discoveries, for new investment in industry and for new jobs. But that money was blown by those opposite. It's only through the strong economic management of the Liberal-National government that we have been in a position to invest $1.5 billion more than Labor did in our science agencies—agencies like the CSIRO, ANSTO and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Mr Speaker, just imagine the impact of Labor's reckless spending again, especially when it comes to the management of our borders. I can imagine the impact that that will have on the science community—what it will do to opportunity in science, what it will do to opportunities for new Australians to get jobs and what it will do to scientific discoveries. It will put us backwards.
It's discoveries such as those which came from the $520 million investment by this government in the Australian Synchrotron that are going to help with the discovery of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women, and there are currently over 800,000 mammograms being performed in Australia this year. As many women know, the experience of getting a mammogram can be very uncomfortable and, in some cases, the technology that we have now means that some cancers are missed. But because of the investment this government has been able to make in the Australian Synchrotron there has been some groundbreaking research done which will lead to better image quality, a more accurate diagnosis and a smaller radiation dose. And, importantly, there will be no discomfort for patients as the breast compression process won't be necessary.
It is because of our strong economic management and our ability to prioritise our spending and to spend properly that we are able to invest in this technology to save lives. That is the commitment of this government to Australia.