Education Minister Christopher Pyne has today announced another review of Australia’s research training system. But researchers don’t need another review - they need a government that will stop making short-sighted cuts and undermining research careers at every turn.
This announcement gives Christopher Pyne an opportunity to reconsider his 10 per cent cut to the Research Training Scheme and introduction of fees for PhDs.
Today’s proposal comes from the same Minister who held the jobs of 1700 researchers and 35,000 projects hostage in a desperate attempt to deliver his agenda for $100,000 degrees.
This is the same Minister who has held Future Fellowships for mid-career researchers hostage for the same objective, and is now grudgingly delivering half the program six months late.
This announcement comes from the same Government that will cease funding for Australia’s largest ICT research organisation (NICTA) in 12 months, abandoning 300 PhD students who work directly with industry to deliver cutting edge solutions for business and create the jobs of the future.
This is the same Government that abolished the Researchers in Business program and has systematically undermined Labor’s suite of measures for strengthening engagement between researchers and industry, including PhD students.
This is the same Government that has slashed CSIRO funding and overseen the loss of one in five jobs.
It's the same Government whose Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) review yesterday displayed its narrow-minded view that the only end-user driven research with an immediate commercial outcome is worth supporting.
In Government, Labor worked to strengthen and support Australia’s research workforce up to 2020 and beyond.
Christopher Pyne only has to go to the Department of Industry and Science website to find a strategy that:
“Identified the factors that make for high quality research training to build a comprehensive plan to match Australia's capabilities to its innovation goals.”
Christopher Pyne’s announcement reveals yet again the chaos and dysfunction in the Abbott Government.
It is time for Christopher Pyne and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane to stop tripping over one another in an effort to save their own jobs.
It is time for them to work together for the national good and stem the science and research brain drain their policies have been encouraging.