Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

National Commission of Audit’s recommendations for scientific research

The National Commission of Audit has suggested a major overhaul of the way scientific research is carried out in Australia, including greater government control over the work undertaken by CSIRO and abolishing the Cooperative Research Centre Association.

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The Hon Tony Staley is Chairman of the CRC Association

“I can't for a minute believe that Government will take on this recommendation.

Cooperative Research Centres have very clearly given the Australian taxpayers outstanding value for money.

It is very interesting that the Commissioners have commented in making this recommendation that the ARC should take on longer funding periods. That's one of the features that has made CRCs so successful - seven years of funding to let researchers get on with the job.

The ARC could provide longer funding periods but they can't provide the other major success factor of CRCs - the cultural drive from industry to convert research into innovation.

I really believe Ministers Macfarlane, Pyne, Dutton and many others including the Prime Minister have a good appreciation of how much the CRCs have delivered. The Commission of Audit clearly haven't worked at the level of detail to know that directing the money through a granting agency like the ARC would fundamentally change the nature of the Program.”


Catriona Jackson is CEO of Science and Technology Australia

“Because science and technology is part of almost every area of human endeavour, many of today’s recommendations could touch on the sector. But a number are directly...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.