Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Research Senator Kim Carr has welcomed the opening of the Australian National University’s space engineering facility at Mt Stromlo and its new Science Precinct.
“I’m delighted to see both these initiatives, built with investments made under the previous Labor Government, come to fruition,” Senator Carr said.
“Labor’s Education Investment Fund – which the Abbott Government is seeking to abolish – provided almost $24 million for the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at Mt Stromlo in Canberra, out of nearly $90 million for Australia’s participation in the Giant Magellan Telescope project.
“I am delighted that the investment in AITC is now enabling scientists to build satellites in Australia as well as high-precision instruments.
“Already two contracts, worth $11 million, have been signed and there is an expectation of a further $20 million flowing from the initial contracts.
“This is a huge boost for Australia’s space industry, which generates up to $1.6 billion in revenue every year and employs more than 4,000 scientists, engineers and other personnel.
“I also welcome the official opening of the Science Precinct at the ANU on Monday.
“A further $90 million invested by the previous Labor Government helped provide these state-of-the-art facilities for ANU researchers and students in the biological and chemical sciences.
“I thank the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, for acknowledging the previous Labor Government when he launched the Mt Stromlo centre yesterday, but urge him to consider his own legacy.
“Unfortunately, the Abbott Government’s only contribution to science and research in Australia so far has been a vicious $1.4 billion Budget cut.
“This is a government that will be remembered for not having a science minister or a science policy and for its cuts to CSIRO and other research agencies.
“This is a terrible legacy to look forward to – and with the Treasurer Joe Hockey’s threat today to make further cuts – it can only get worse.”
WEDNESDAY, 16 JULY 2014