Tony Abbott snubs his own science council

After one year in office, Tony Abbott has not once convened the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC).

Last week, while visiting the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Tony Abbott proclaimed: “This is a government which is dedicated to science.

But his actions shows his words count for nothing.

The Prime Minister’s unfair and short-sighted Budget gutted Australia’s investment in science, with a savage and short-sighted $836 million cut.

These cuts include $114 million ripped from the CSIRO, and hundreds of jobs losses in science and research agencies.

And not once did the Prime Minister seek the advice of the pre-eminent scientists and researchers on his own advisory council.

For the past 25 years, PMSEIC (and its predecessor, the Prime Minister’s Science Council) has been advising successive governments on critical issues at the intersection of science and policy.

Yesterday in the Senate, Eric Abetz couldn’t say when PMSEIC will meet again – if ever. He couldn’t even guarantee the future of this important advisory body.  

Tony Abbott must today spell out his plans for the Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

It’s bad enough that Tony Abbott doesn’t have a science minister in his government.

It’s a disgrace that he also ignores the people whose job it is to provide the Prime Minister with direct, independent and expert advice.


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