Senate debates

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Questions without Notice

Research Infrastructure

2:00 pm

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment) Share this | Hansard source

That is true, Senator Carr, and I would invite you to correct the record. This funding cliff meant that NCRIS would cease to exist on 30 June 2015. That is Labor's legacy in this space. However, the Abbott coalition government has provided $150 million—money Labor did not provide—for 2015-16. The review of infrastructure needs recommended by the Commission of Audit, which stressed the importance of research infrastructure, is underway, chaired by Philip Marcus Clark. Needless to say, they do want NCRIS to continue. The funding was an integral part of the higher education reform package announced in the 2014 budget. The funds for NCRIS only exist because of savings elsewhere in the higher education package—savings which the Labor Party oppose. If Labor had their way there would have been no funding for NCRIS in 2015-16. That is Labor's legacy, and it is Labor's activity in opposition as well. Coming from Senator Carr, this is a rich question. Having cut CSIRO funding, having cut the Commercial Ready program for our innovative sector, Senator Carr has no credibility in this space.


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