Time for us all to act on Government’s Science Reviews
The Government currently has on the table two far-reaching reviews on Science and Technology in Australia. These are The Chance to Change by the Chief Government Scientist Dr Robin Batterham and the report from the Innovation Summit Implementation Group: ‘Innovation-Unlocking the Future’.
Both reports recommend that millions of new dollars be invested in the Science, Engineering & Technology sectors in Australia. The rationale for this investment is that Science & Technology is the key to the quality of life and a healthy economy and that over the last few years this investment has fallen short of the levels required to keep us on a par with our OECD competitors.
There is now a one-off opportunity for Australia to change direction and push Science & Technology higher in the government’s priorities for the 2001 Budget.
However, money does not come easily from any government. Politicians need to be sure that their decisions have a sound ground swell of support in the electorate. This is where we all can play a part.
When the Wills Review on medical research was released for comment, some 2000 individuals and organisations responded. The weight of response contributed to its swift adoption by Government, and massive new funding flowing into that sector (doubling of the NHMRC budget over the next five years).
The Batterham Review is now open for comment. A copy of The Chance to Change can be viewed in full at: www.isr.gov.au/science/review and the ISIG report is available at: http://www.isr.gov.au/industry/summit/ISIGreport.pdf
Responses to the Batterham report should be addressed to:
The Manager, Australian Science Capability Review
Department of Industry Science and Resources
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601 or to S.Clough@isr.gov.au
I urge all AIG members to visit the websites, and communicate directly with ISR, Minister Minchin, your local Member of Parliament, and anyone else you know who may be in a position of influence.
If we don’t act now, it may be too late.
David Denham, President
19 September 2000