Hands off universities, science and innovation, Mr Hockey

Labor is calling on the Abbott Government to immediately rule out more cuts to Australia’s universities, our premier science institutions and our industries of the future, after the Treasurer said today he would look for more cuts to rescue his shambolic Budget.

Joe Hockey’s arrogant threats won’t hide the fact that he has failed to get his unfair Budget through the Parliament.

Bill Shorten and Labor will fight this Budget because it is unfair, short-sighted and based on lies to the Australian people.

This morning, Joe Hockey showed disdain for the Australian Parliament and the people of Australia, when he said:

Now, if the Senate chooses to block savings initiatives, then we need to look at other savings initiatives that may not require legislation and I would ask the Greens and the Labor Party who between them hold 35 votes on the floor of the Senate - to understand that there are alternatives for a Government.


In response to this outrageous statement, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Industry Senator Kim Carr said:

“Australia’s innovation ecosystem is already reeling from this government’s vicious Budget. The Government’s proposed cuts to universities and science funding alone amount to more than $7 billion.

“Of these, university cuts largely require legislation, but our world-class science agencies and vital innovation programs remain exposed to cuts by executive decree – placing them at particular risk under Joe Hockey’s arrogant plan.

“This morning, the Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, was trumpeting CSIRO’s essential role in building Australia’s capacity to do more with less in the innovative industries of the future.

“Yet this Minister is already presiding over the biggest job cuts in the organisation’s history. And now Joe Hockey wants to further undermine Australia’s future productivity with short-sighted cuts to science, research and innovation.

“It is symptomatic of the incompetence of this government to imagine that, having promised no cuts, they could further cut our universities, our science community and our industry innovation programs with impunity.

“Joe Hockey either doesn’t understand that he is selling out the country’s future, or he just doesn’t care.”  


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