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Greens Plan Giant Boost to Science and Research

By Australian Greens

The Australian Greens want to put Australia on a path to spending 4% of GDP on science and research by 2030.

Announcing the policy at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in the electorate of Melbourne, Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale and Science and Industry spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said the policy would make Australia a world leader in investment in research and development.

The $5 billion plan costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office increases funding to the CSIRO to end job cuts, boosts funding for the ARC, NHMRC, CRCs and universities, restores tax breaks for business R&D and establishes a new Australian innovation fund with investments from the Future Fund.

“‘Innovation’ isn’t just a buzzword Malcolm Turnbull can use to sell his corporate tax cuts, it underpins Australia’s future prosperity,” Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale said.

“The Greens’ research investment plan will help build a smarter, healthier more prosperous Australia. It will invest in building skills, research infrastructure and incentives for business to participate. We will increase funding, improve access to information, foster national and international collaboration, protect our key research institutions and deliver the research and innovation Australia needs to remain competitive,”

“This transition won’t just happen, it requires leaders with a vision for the new economy and the courage to take us there.”

“The industries and jobs of the 21st century will rely on our minds, not our mines,” Mr Bandt said.

“The government’s ideological obsessions are harming science and research by ignoring the importance of both pure research and public good science. The recent cuts to CSIRO have highlighted this problem and show the government doesn’t get it.”

“We will fund and protect the CSIRO and our key research institutions.”

“The Greens will invest in science & research and foster a culture where experimentation, invention and innovation can flourish in Australia. Our $5 billion plan will make Australia one of the top investors in the world in research and development.”

The plan includes:

  • A ‘Protecting Science’ package, consisting of a combined $847.9 million boost to the Australia Research Council, National Health & Medical Research Council, Cooperative Research Centres;
  • Restoring funding to the CSIRO and preventing job cuts ($306.5m);
  • Funding for indirect costs associated with research ($201.2m);
  • Further steps towards default 5 year grants in ARC and NHMRC;
  • Reverse short-sighted Government cuts to the Sustainable Research Excellence program and boost university research ($1,306 m);
  • Investment in critical infrastructure via Innovation and Science Australia ($422.6m);
  • Investment in strategic opportunities for international collaboration ($43.4m);
  • Additional funding for the Future Fellowships scheme to attract and retain top research talents ($297.2m);
  • Open Access Publishing of Government funded research ($197.7m);
  • Support for women in science ($213.7m);
  • Supporting collaborative health research centres to translate the research discoveries into clinical practice ($171.9m);
  • Support the ongoing development of the Medical Research Future Fund; and
  • Reverse cuts to R&D tax offsets ($690m).

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