Thursday, 26 March 2015
Research and Development
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 689 standing in my name for today.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that science and research are crucial to Australia's wellbeing and economy, but that funding for science, research and innovation is currently at a 30 year low; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) put funding for research and science on a secure footing, with long-term legislated funding guarantees that last longer than the yearly budget cycle or the 3-year political cycle,
(ii) reverse the decision not to proceed with funding for the Future Fellowship program and guarantee that funding of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) will not come at the expense of other areas of the research and education budget, and
(iii) commit to an increase in science and research funding in the budget.
The coalition government, despite commentary to the contrary, has continued to invest in science. Across the government we are investing $9.2 billion this year alone in science, research and innovation—$5.8 billion of that over the next four years for science and research in the industry and science portfolio alone and $3 billion for CSIRO over the next four years, with funding increases year on year over the forward estimates. Science funding in the industry and science portfolio will increase by $16.8 million over the forward estimates and there will be new investments of $181.2 million to secure operation of vital scientific assets and promote the benefits of science in the community. In addition, the government will invest $12 million to improve the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in primary and secondary education through the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda. I should also point out some other things, but sadly time will elude me.
Question agreed to.