Science reacts to Coalition victory

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James Riley

Both Science & Technology Australia and the Australian Academy of Science have released statements on the re-election of the Coalition government, welcoming the government and seeking to strengthen science priorities in the coming term.

The STA released a survey of the major parties and their science industry priorities ahead of the election, noting that the Coalition’s “business as usual” approach with nothing new for the sector as part of its campaign.

“Despite strong support from Australians, we are facing downward trends in government investment in science and technology, no visionary national plan, and increasing job insecurity in our sector,” STA President Professor Emma Johnston said before the election.

Emma Johnston: Looking forward to working with the Morrison government

In its reaction to the re-election of the Morrison government, STA flagged an eagerness to work with the Coalition to “ensure a strong, stable and thriving STEM sector.”

“We encourage the new government to work with the science and research sectors to craft a formal plan and prioritise bold investment that empowers the Australian science and technology sector to secure the nation’s prosperity,” Professor Johnston said.

“The National Science Statement in 2017 was a good first step, but we hope to see the sector provided with a strategic plan that enables it to most effectively contribute to Australia’s prosperity.”

STA pointed to a desire to establish a Research Translation Fund as an ambitious priority, a fund that would act to complement the Australian Research Council and suggests it would be similar to the existing Medical Research Future Fund.

The Australian Academy of Science welcomed the re-elected government, noting Morrison’s ongoing commitment to a Science Minister in cabinet and to the 2017 National Science Statement.

“We look forward to meeting with the government to discuss science, research and technology priorities,” the Academy President Professor John Shine said.

The Academy also pointed to the $1.8 million Advancing Women in STEM strategy as an important gender equity program and its statement says the Academy “looks forward to working with the Morrison Government to progress this important agenda.”

According to Australia’s Science Media Exchange there have been no other key statements released from other industry leaders or organisations.

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