Abbott Government fails the nation on science

The Abbott Government’s complete lack of understanding of science and its disregard for science policy has again been on display this week.

This week we have seen further egregious examples of how the Abbott Government is failing Australia in terms of science:

  • Up to eight CSIRO researchers are being made redundant at Australia’s top biosecurity infectious disease research facility in Geelong, prompting Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty to dub the Abbott Government “scientifically illiterate’’.
  • The Abbott Government’s chief business adviser, Maurice Newman, has ludicrously claimed Australia is ill prepared for global cooling because of mainstream climate science.

Geelong’s world-leading Australian Animal Health Laboratory is a critical part of Australia’s research infrastructure and its work is vital to combating news diseases and strains, such as the deadly Ebola virus.

Experts are now warning that the funding cuts could leave the nation exposed to new and emerging infectious disease agents.

The Abbott Government’s $114 million cut to CSIRO is part of a $878 million cut to science and research agencies overall, and will result in an estimated 700 job losses.

As Professor Doherty has warned, the Government risks losing talent, possibly for good, to other countries such as Singapore, which have had the foresight to invest in research.

With no science minister and no one in Cabinet to stand up for science, Australians have a right to be concerned and angry at where we are heading as a nation.

Labor will continue to hold the Abbott Government to account as we see its Budget of broken promises threatening Australia’s future health, security and prosperity.


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