Today’s announcement of the “National Research Infrastructure Investment Plan” is yet another pre-election stunt by an increasingly desperate government.

It is a promise by a government that is specialising in new frontiers of creative accounting.

What Senators Brimingham and Cash won’t tell you today is:

-       The plan will take twelve years – four to five elections away to implement.  

-       That they will spend only $5.5 million next financial year on this “plan”

-       That $1.5 billion of their “plan” is not accounted for in the budget

-       That their government is pressing ahead with plans to abolish the $3.8 billion Education Investment Fund.

-       That their government is still cutting $2.2 billion from universities.

Even after their announcement today, the university and research community will be more than $4 billion worse off.

If Senator Birmingham and Senator Cash are serious about a research infrastructure plan they must legislate for it.

This is a government that should not be trusted on its word.

The Liberals are taking savings of $2.4 billion over four years from R&D Tax incentive.

They are still standing by their cuts to the CSIRO and jobs in science agencies.

Great science needs funding certainty, and landmark national facilities deserve long term secure funding, free from the types of immature threats, and vindictive cuts exhibited by the Abbott and Turnbull governments over the past 5 years.

When it comes to science and research the Liberals may talk the talk, but they just don’t get it, and they certainly don’t do it.

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