Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Science in the 2019 Federal Budget

The Australian Academy of Science has broken down initiatives in the 2019 Federal Budget. Major science initiatives announced or elaborated in the Budget include:

  • $56.4 million over three years to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to support nuclear medicine production, critical radioactive waste management and nuclear decommissioning activities, and asset management. The Government will also provide an equity injection of $56 million to ensure the continued protection of both the community and the environment.
  • $25 million over four years for a coasts, environment and climate science research and education centre at Point Nepean, Victoria. The Centre will be led by Monash University and include an interdisciplinary research facility on marine and coastal ecosystems, climate science and environmental management.
  • $15.1 million over three years to expand Questacon’s education and outreach activities.
  • $3.4 million over four years to support women in STEM through the SAGE Initiative and a digital National Awareness Raising Initiative led by the Women in STEM Ambassador Professor Lisa Harvey Smith.
  • $19.5 million over four years to establish a Space Infrastructure Fund.
  • $5 million over two years to build the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory to allow the University of Melbourne to join the global research effort to understand dark matter.
  • Funding of $2.9 million over three years to facilitate national leadership in agricultural innovation.
  • $3.6 million over two years from 2019-20 to trial a National Innovation Games through which students will work together to solve innovation, technology and/or digital challenges set by a corporate sponsor.
  • $0.5 million over five years (and $0.1 million ongoing from 2023-24) to establish an Australian Antarctic Science Council that would support reform initiatives announced as part of the Government’s response to the Australian Antarctic Science Program Governance Review 2017.

Cuts and savings measures:

  • Abolishing the $3.9 billion Education Investment Fund and using the capital to establish a new Emergency Response Fund.
  • Savings of $48.9 million over five years from 2018-19 from the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and the Industry Growth Centres Initiative.
  • Reductions in indexation of science and research programs over the forward estimates resulting in cuts of $345 million to university research funding through the research support program. This is on top of numerous other cuts to university funding over the past several years.