Labor welcomes today’s announcement that National ICT Australia (NICTA) has found a way forward and will merge its operations with the CSIRO.
While Labor is pleased that NICTA has found a way to remain viable through a merger with CSIRO, this does not detract from the fact that NICTA should never have been de-funded in the first place.
Today’s announcement is only occurring because of the Abbott Government’s short-sighted decision to cut funding to NICTA, a decision that will see up to 200 more jobs lost - on top of almost 1,400 jobs at CSIRO over the last two years.
NICTA and CSIRO are world-class research organisations and NICTA is one of the most successful government-industry research partnerships in Australia’s history.
Labor hopes that the strong brand and international reputation that NICTA has developed will continue.
Labor congratulates Australian entrepreneur Mr Adrian Turner on his appointment as Chief Executive of the new entity, Data61, which is being created out of the merger and looks forward to working closely with him.
NICTA’s open culture, flexibility and support for small business have seen it receive great support from the business and research communities, both in Australia and around the world.
Nowhere in the world has an organisation that combines cutting edge curiosity-driven research and training for hundreds of PhD students been able to survive without public investment.
This is a second-best solution. The inevitable consequence will be more jobs lost in the science sector.
Labor is committed to investing in science, technology, engineering and maths to build the jobs of the future.