Abbott right on research funding: Bandt

Greens deputy leader and science and innovation spokesperson, Adam Bandt, has welcomed Tony Abbott's commitment to quarantine health and medical research from funding cuts. Mr Bandt has called on the Gillard government to match the commitment and for both the old parties to invest more in science and research.

"Promising to protect health and medical research is one of the very few things that Mr Abbott has got right," Mr Bandt said.

"Labor has cut half a billion dollars from research funding to meet the now abandoned goal of reaching an early political surplus."

"Existing health and medical research funding has only been protected up until now because of a strong campaign by the science community and the Greens."

"Science and research funding shouldn't be treated as a honey-pot that governments can keep dipping into every time they need some extra cash."

"Science, research and innovation are the keys to this country's future after the mining bubble bursts. We need to be investing more."

"We should have a cross-party commitment to lift our country's investment - public and private - in R&D to 3 per cent of GDP, bringing us into line with the research leaders in the OECD."

"Parliament will vote next week on my motion, seconded by Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer, calling on the government to protect science and research from funding cuts."


Motion of Mr Bandt-That this House:

(1) affirms that science is central to our economy and prosperity and that government investment in

research is central to maintaining and growing Australia's scientific capacity;

(2) notes the:

(a) growing concern amongst the science and research community about the security of funding; and

(b) risks to jobs and the economy if funding is not secured, especially in Victoria where much of

Australia's health and medical research is conducted; and

(3) calls on the Treasurer to:

(a) guarantee that science and research funding will be protected this financial year; and

(b) rule out any attempt to defer, freeze or pause Australian Research Council, National Health and

Medical Research Council, or other science and research grants in an attempt to achieve a Budget surplus. 

 30 January 2013