Abbott's Industry Policy Picks Some Winners, Backs Many Losers & Leaves Science Underfunded

Tony Abbott’s new industry policy identifies some winners but backs many losers, ignores ‘white collar’, ‘pink collar’ and ‘green collar’ industries and leaves science woefully underfunded, said Deputy Greens Leader and Industry spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP.

“You can’t put science at the centre of industry policy while cutting science spending to a 30-year low,” said Mr Bandt.

“Here’s a question for the new ‘innovative mathematics resources’ funded by today’s announcement: if you cut $111m from CSIRO but then only put $12m back into science, where does the country end up?”

“We need to lift our science spending by $2-3bn to match our trading partners, something the Prime Minister clearly hasn’t grasped.”

“For a Prime Minister who says he doesn’t want to ‘pick winners’, he’s happy to back quite a few losers.”

“The Greens strongly support playing to our strengths and our competitive advantages, but for this to work they must be real winners, like medical technology and advanced manufacturing, not just Liberal Party backers from the resources sector.”

“This Government squints towards future growth areas like medical technology and advanced manufacturing but can’t tear its backward-looking gaze away from the old ‘dig it up, ship it off’ economy.”

“Glaringly absent is any commitment to renewable energy, tourism, education, aged care or professional services outside of the resources sector, all of which offer huge potential for Australia this century.”

“With some exceptions, it’s a pretty old-school, blokey idea of what counts as industry.”

“For Tony Abbott’s pitch to be credible, he would not be backing coal over renewables, roads over public transport or cutting funding to a prosperity-dynamo like CSIRO.”

“Renewables could be a boom industry but Tony Abbott is still backing yesterday’s fossil fuels.”

“Letting a company take greater control over a school’s curriculum is short-sighted and wrong. It will leave people with skills that might suit a particular employer but won’t build the critical, adaptive faculties that will be the hallmark of successful countries this century.”

"Real education is about creating intelligent students who can solve the challenges of the future, not simply heading from school to a particular employer’s office or factory.”

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0424 885 387