Overall science and research funding continues to stagnate under the Abbott government, with further cuts in the Budget and important programs stuck on life support.
While the continuation of the Medical Research Fund is very welcome, despite threats to make it contingent on the GP co-payment, concerns remain on the source of its funding from cuts to the health Budget.
The government has put the NCRIS and the Synchrotron on life support but this comes at the expense of $212.5 million cuts to university research and $26.8 million in cuts to the Cooperative Research Centres program with more cuts possible following a review.
After a strong campaign from the Greens and the research community the government has said it will allow 50 Future Fellowships for mid-career researchers but the full program is being held hostage to the Senate supporting the Minister’s crusade against the university sector.
Quotes attributable to Mr Bandt:
“This Budget continues to hold research and development funding at the lowest level for thirty years.”
“It continues the anti-science bias of the Abbott government. The word ‘science’ was not mentioned once in the Treasurer’s speech.”
“The Future Fellowship funding for mid-career researchers has been partially released but a full release is being held hostage to Christopher Pyne’s attack on universities.”
“Science and research is critical to Australia’s economy and prosperity. Once again this Budget shows the government has no plan and vision for the future.”
Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054