Australia’s science and research future gutted

“I’m pleased to pledge the incoming Government to continue to support science to the fullest extent possible.”

TONY ABBOTT - PM’S PRIZES FOR SCIENCE DINNER - 31 OCTOBER 2013

Australia’s Science and research future has been gutted by crippling cuts to the science and research sector, including to the nation’s premier science agency, CSIRO.

The massive cuts to the major science and research agencies – at least $878 million – come on top of more than $5 billion slashed from higher education.

So much for Mr Abbott’s support for science.

“I’d say to all of you, please, judge us by our performance, not by our titles.”

TONY ABBOTT - PM’S PRIZES FOR SCIENCE DINNER - 31 OCTOBER 2013

Scientists, researchers and their families will feel betrayed this morning by a government whose actions speak louder than their words.

CSIRO will lose $111.4 million and 489 staff in a budget of major cuts, big job losses and missed opportunities for science and research.

Other cuts include:

  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation: $27.6 million cut to a world-class facility manufacturing radiopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment and other products
  • Australian Research Council:  $74.9 million cut over three year, and fewer Future Fellows than under Labor. 
  • Co-operative Research Centres: $80 million cut.
  • Geoscience Australia: $16.1 million cut.

PhD and Masters programs will now attract student fees, making it harder for students to pursue excellence.

This is a government that came to office with no science policy. They set up their Cabinet with no science minister. Last night they affirmed their hostility to science that is at the core of their narrow worldview.

As a consequence, these agencies are easy pickings for austerity measures and the Government can ride roughshod over them.

There must now be serious concerns that, having sold Australia’s scientists and researchers down the drain, the Government will spark a new brain drain.

 WEDNESDAY, 14 MAY 2014


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