[ASC-list] FASTS MEDIA RELEASE - Budget spells business as usual for science

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Wed May 11 03:08:28 UTC 2011

And here's the FASTS take on the budget - which I would summarise as business as usual, opportunities missed but no big losses.

Niall (from Magnetic Island)
[cid:3387921718_27499730]Budget spells business as usual for science

FASTS welcomes the preservation of funding for research, through the NHMRC and ARC budgets and Australia’s premier science organisation, the CSIRO.

“By taking a business as usual approach, the Budget misses the opportunity to recognise science as a core part of the productivity and participation agenda,” said Dr Cathy Foley, FASTS’ President.

“Even in straitened financial times, governments across the world are not squibbing on science and technology, recognised drivers of economic growth and productivity.

“Science underpins some of the most productive areas of the Australian economy – mining and energy production, information technology, biomedical research - and should be at the heart of the productivity agenda in Australia.

“I welcome commitments to expand the number of university places and the establishment of the National Workforce Development Fund but more must be done to address the skills shortage facing the science sector.

“The resources sector has clearly stated that more engineers and scientists are required to remain competitive.

“Bold action is required to boost the research workforce and keep Australia internationally competitive, measures that will improve the budget bottom line,” said Dr Foley.

FASTS welcomes the government’s $21 million commitment to science communication through the Inspiring Australia Program, honouring an important election commitment.

“Science is essential for our prosperity, our environment, our health, our security, and our quality of life. Investment in science communication and advocacy is more essential than ever to inspire young people to choose science as a career.” Dr Foley concluded.

FASTS, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies is Australia’s peak body in science and technology

Wayne Evans
0411 516 656                                                              Released 10 May 2011

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