Abbott Government’s empty rhetoric on science

The Abbott Government – the only government in the OECD without a science strategy and one of the few without a science minister – continues to misrepresent its commitment to science and research.

Unlike the previous Labor Government, which increased spending on science and research by 43 per cent, the Abbott Government has made massive cuts to science funding.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, as he dribbles out his threadbare industry policy, likes to proclaim he values science.

If we value science, we also value the truth.”


The evidence, however, shows the Abbott Government values neither science nor the truth.

The truth about the Abbott Government’s savage cuts to science, research and innovation was confirmed in the Science, Research and Innovation Tables (SRI) for 2014-2015 belatedly released in early September.               

The table shows the Abbott Government has cut almost $400 million from science, research and innovation funding in just one year.

The truth is that the Abbott Government has slashed science and research funding across the board, particularly in Mr Macfarlane’s portfolio – including CSIRO, other research agencies and business R&D programs.

The truth is that these cuts have led to the biggest job losses in CSIRO’s history.

The truth is that, by contrast, Labor boosted investment in science and innovation to $9.6 billion in 2013-14.

Those facts speak much louder than the Abbott Government’s empty rhetoric on science.

Australians – both current and future generations – deserve better.


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