Responses from independent candidates, STA 2022 Federal Election Priorities

Jamie CHRISTIE; Bean; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

The successive failure of our commonwealth governments to support science is appalling, and I have no idea why were are providing incentives for people to do STEM degrees when the experience of the number graduating currently is there is no work, and the majority either leave the country or (like my nephew) switch to working in hospitality.

In summary, very sympathetic to your cause.

back to main election page

Nicolette BOELE; Bradfield; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Nicolette recognises that the pandemic has made visible to everyone the importance of expert research, advice and commentary. It is also dismaying to know that as the reality of climate change hits home more and more, the value of science in climate-related fields, and the disastrous effects of having ignored it for so long, will become increasingly evident.

When it comes to funding for science, there is more at stake than simply the dollar figure. Here is an overview of some of the issues that concern Nicolette. You will note how the problem of a lack of government integrity – which is one of the core themes of her campaign – is threaded through many of the problems that Australian scientists face.

The first is the delegitimation of scientific expertise, which is an easy play to an anti-intellectual thread in our national culture – one with real-world consequences. When the Prime Minister can dismiss an IPCC report as “some kind of report” and say he won’t read it, this has real consequences, tilling a rich soil in which misinformation and disinformation can flourish while also demoralising the very kind of experts we should be respecting and supporting.

This delegitimation is compounded by active attempts to hide or suppress scientific and environmental reports. Last week the media reported the delay of the most recent report into bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, along with the concerning suggestion of government interference into the workings of two Commonwealth scientific agencies: the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Nicolette is aware of the reports that these agencies were advised by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to withhold the release of this report during the election campaign. Similarly troubling is the Minister for the Environment’s refusal to table the latest damning State of the Environment report to parliament, under cover of the election. These examples speak to one of the key reasons that Nicolette is standing for election: the restoration of integrity to government. There can be no robust environmental policies and solutions until the major parties stop treating the environment as merely a political matter.

A third area of concern are the repeated and targeted cuts to respected bodies like the CSIRO, whose global reputation has, according to some scientists, been “trashed” by these actions (to quote one CSIRO scientist’s submission to a 2016 Senate Inquiry).

A fourth issue is the precariousness of funding and employment contracts for Australian scientists. It is hard to do committed long-term research when you are repeatedly having to apply for funding to maintain a salary. This is another cause of the demoralisation of scientists and also risks a “short-termism” in research projects themselves. Scientists with no secure employment future cannot undertake longitudinal work.

There are plenty of other issues. For example, gender equity is still an issue despite serious attention and effort being put into rectifying it. Some of the reasons for this are to do with the nature of scientific research itself; for example, research that requires long periods of fieldwork away from home is unlikely to attract female scientists with family commitments. These types of issues are harder to address, but still need to be put on the table to see what might be able to done to address them.

Lest all this sound too gloomy, it is important to note that despite all of these problems, Australian scientists continue to punch above their weight on the global stage. Independents such as Nicolette (if elected) have an important role to play in trying to restore integrity to and public trust in our venerable scientific institutions and universities.

back to top | back to main election page

Janine KITSON; Bradfield; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

As a retired teacher, who has taught primary science I understand the crucial importance of science and technology to our lives – particularly as we are in a climate emergency.

  1. I support R&D investment to make Australia a global STEM superpower. To do this we also need to support a strong Arts based investment.
  2. I support a $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to drive income-generating commercialisation of Australian research that will create thousands of new jobs and which address reaching zero emissions by 2030. I do not support commercialisation of defence – particularly for its ramifications in creating an arms race.
  3. I support a comprehensive plan across Government to coordinate R&D strategic investment, policy and roles to support scientific collaboration with other countries, particularly our Asian and Pacific neighbours.
  4. I support boosting investment by government independent agencies that removes discretionary Ministerial power that focuses on the ‘pure’ commercialisation of scientific research. To do this we need to embrace and fund a strong scientific vision for our universities and government institutions like CSIRO. We also need to reconstitute independently appointed organisations such as a climate authority and biodiversity protection agencies.
  5. I am committed to tackling insecure work tied to competitive research grants especially for Australia’s early career scientists – and ending the ‘brain drain’. Too many members of my family have been denied a secure and well paid scientific career in Australia.
  6. I am committed to restoring funding to the national science agencies and removing indexation freezes.
  7. I am most passionate about supporting a comprehensive plan to transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguard Australia’s unique biodiversity.
  8. I support renewing a long-term investment in the nation’s vital research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.
  9. We need to ensure critical and fair funding for our public schools to tackle a decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and stop the brain drain of our children out of STEM.
  10. I am committed to programs to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM to ensure the nation draws on the widest possible pool of talent.

back to top | back to main election page

Andrew WILKIE; Clark; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Mr Wilkie is in strong agreement with each of the ten priorities and should he be re-elected, he will look for any opportunities in the next Federal Parliament to support and further this work.

back to top | back to main election page

Caz HEISE; Cowper; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Caz has no issues whatsoever pledging to support [STA] initiatives.
As a nurse [Caz] has lived a life guided by science and STEM.

back to top | back to main election page

Sarah RUSSELL; Flinders; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

  1. Make Australia a global STEM superpower by growing R&D investment to lift Australia into the top ten OECD countries (relative to the size of the economy). A laudable aim which Sarah would support.
  2. Invest in a $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to drive income-generating commercialisation of Australian research and create thousands of new jobs. As an Independent, Sarah is not in a position to promise money. However, she will support any development with a good business case that has been reviewed by an independent statutory body.
  3. Craft a comprehensive plan across Government to coordinate R&D strategic investment, policy and roles to seize competitive strategic advantage for Australia. Sarah will support this.
  4. Embolden discovery research by boosting investment in the major grant agencies to catapult breakthroughs and secure the science workforce with a bridge to the other side of the pandemic. Sarah will support this.
  5. Tackle the broken system of insecure work tied to competitive research grants especially for Australia’s early career scientists – the future of the profession. As an academic who has worked under term contracts and understands the precarious nature of academic work, Sarah supports this.
  6. Commit to keep funding the national science agencies in the coming term by at least current levels of investment indexed by CPI. Sarah supports this.
  7. Develop a comprehensive plan to transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguard Australia’s unique biodiversity. Sarah supports this. Please see Sarah’s policies in these areas –
    https://www.sarahrussell.com.au/habitat_protection_and_biodiversity and
    https://www.sarahrussell.com.au/climate
  8. Renew a long-term investment in the nation’s vital research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. Sarah would support this if the Strategy is independently assessed prior to implementation.
  9. Craft a plan to tackle a decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and stop the brain drain of our children out of STEM. Sarah supports this
  10. Make a further commitment to programs to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM to ensure the nation draws on the widest possible pool of talent. Sarah supports this.

back to top | back to main election page

Zoe DANIEL; Goldstein; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Zoe Daniel is a strong supporter of STEM and acknowledges the critical role the sciences play in every aspect of Australian society. Australia has traditionally punched above its weight in these endeavours; however, the current parlous state of tertiary and STEM funding puts Australia’s position as a global leader at risk.

If elected, Zoe will be a strong advocate for increased funding of the tertiary sector generally and the sciences, specifically. For more information on Zoe’s policies, please visit Zoe’s website.

back to top | back to main election page

Jeanene WILLIAMS; Hasluck; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

I totally agree with all your points and will look into all of these when elected. From a personal side I have been involved with the Australian Computer Society’s National Diversity & Inclusion Council for the last 2 years where we have been working to improve diversity in the industry, encourage STEM and reduce the brain drain in our industry. There however is a lot of work still to be done across the board which I am hoping to help address.

back to top | back to main election page

Georgia STEELE; Hughes; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

I strongly support investment in STEM and STEM education. Australia has an opportunity to be a world leader in renewables technologies, but only with proper investment into the sector and its future. Should I be elected, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss what I can do to better support the STEM sector.

back to top | back to main election page

Monique RYAN; Kooyong; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

As a doctor and a medical researcher, Dr Monique Ryan has a very strong appreciation of the importance of investment in Australia’s science and technology capabilities.  Science has helped us get through the pandemic.  Science will help lead the transition to a net zero economy, which is one of Dr Ryan’s highest priorities.

Dr Ryan is strongly supportive of the aims of Science and Technology Australia in its objective to make Australia a global STEM superpower and to increase both public and private investment in the commercialisation of STEM research.

Dr Ryan was appalled by the failure of the Morrison government to extend JobKeeper to Australia’s public universities, with the attendant loss of Early Career Researchers from the sector.  She has been dismayed by overt political interference in the Australian government grant-making decisions, most recently at the Australian Research Council.  Dr Ryan believes that the Australian government needs to commit to long term investment in Australia’s research capabilities, in order to provide certainty to research communities and to attract additional private investment into the sector.  One of Dr Ryan’s major priorities is to support Zali Steggall’s Climate Change bill, which would establish legislated targets to reach net zero emissions and a legislative framework of policies that would chart that path.
back to top | back to main election page

Kylea Jane TINK; North Sydney; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

  1. Make Australia a global STEM superpower by growing R&D investment to lift Australia into the top ten OECD countries (relative to the size of the economy). Agree that our R&D investment to GDP ratio should be in the top 10 of OECD countries and Kylea will support legislation that achieves this outcome
  2. Invest in a $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to drive income-generating commercialisation of Australian research and create thousands of new jobs. If elected Kylea would consult with experts to understand what is the best investment amount and mechanism to improve our rate of commercialisation of Australian research.
  3. Craft a comprehensive plan across Government to coordinate R&D strategic investment, policy and roles to seize competitive strategic advantage for Australia. Agree that we need a comprehensive plan. The Vision 2040 Strategy for medical research funding (currently just started) and the recent NCRIS roadmap will have recommendations across these issues.
  4. Embolden discovery research by boosting investment in the major grant agencies to catapult breakthroughs and secure the science workforce with a bridge to the other side of the pandemic.As per question #1, Kylea would support lifting the investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP and grants will be a part of this.
  5. Tackle the broken system of insecure work tied to competitive research grants especially for Australia’s early career scientists – the future of the profession.Kylea would support a review into the funding of early career researchers to ensure that we have a vibrant scientific workforce at all levels.
  6. Commit to keep funding the national science agencies in the coming term by at least current levels of investment indexed by CPI.Kylea supports this in principle.
  7. Develop a comprehensive plan to transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguard Australia’s unique biodiversity.Kylea supports the Climate Bills as proposed by Zali Steggall to Parliament in 2020. We need to put in place systems which support the transition to net zero based on science, with built-in monitoring, reporting and accountability. Kylea supports the introduction of an Independent climate body to ensure we are taking meaningful action on climate change. Kylea believes we must conserve our biodiversity for current and future generations, and we need to be vigilant toward threats to our heritage, flora and fauna.
  8. Renew a long-term investment in the nation’s vital research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.The NCRIS system has recently been reviewed through the National Infrastructure roadmap, and Kylea would commit to supporting its recommendations.
  9. Craft a plan to tackle a decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and stop the brain drain of our children out of STEM.Kylea would work with other parliamentarians to ensure that we have the best education system for our children including in STEM.
  10. Make a further commitment to programs to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM to ensure the nation draws on the widest possible pool of talent.Kylea’s platform strongly supports diversity and inclusion in all areas of society and if elected she will work to ensure that we improve in in all aspects of our community and economy.

back to top | back to main election page

Nathan JONES; Richmond; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

I am an independent candidate for seat of Richmond in northern NSW.

I have been a teacher in high schools and university also.

I have taught Maths for a number of years.

It is sad that only 10% of people in NSW do the highest level of Maths (extn 1 and 2).

I fully agree with all your points. If elected – hold me to account!

Funding can come from Federation Reforms – efficiency gains by reducing admin duplication at state government level.

I have also studied a M Econ and my research thesis shows we waste $75 billion each year on admin waste – so plenty for STEM and research grants!

We need to be wise how we spend out [sic] public funds.

back to top | back to main election page

Zali STEGGALL; Warringah; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Thanks [STA] for all your hard work and advocacy.

You can find our innovation policy in our ‘New Economy’ policy platform. It sets out our position and vision as well as practical policies we want to see implemented. Please go here to read it.

back to top | back to main election page

Allegra SPENDER; Wentworth; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Legislating for reforms, funding, and incentives to build a resilient, and future-focussed economy will be a major focus for Allegra if she is elected and she agrees that Government investment in STEM will play an important role. There are three areas of her policy platform, in particular, where the science and technology sector will play an integral part: climate, health, and education.

Details of Allegra’s policies can be found here: https://www.allegraspender.com.au/policies

The following are Allegra’s responses in relation to your 10 priorities.

  1. Make Australia a global STEM superpower by growing R&D investment to lift Australia into the top ten OECD countries (relative to the size of the economy).
    Allegra strongly supports this, and it is a key part of her economic policy agenda.
    The major parties have a blank sheet when it comes to our long-term economic future. Productivity growth has been stagnant for years and Australia remains a commodity economy that is stuck in the industries of the past. For example, Australia is 86th in the world when it comes to the sophistication of our exports – that’s behind Guatemala. R&D investment is less than 2%, below the world average and far below countries such as Israel, which spend closer to 5%.
    If elected, Allegra will advocate for an economic policy focused on innovation and investment in the industries of tomorrow, as well as significantly increasing skilled migration and bringing more women into the workforce.
  2. Invest in a $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to drive income-generating commercialisation of Australian research and create thousands of new jobs.
    Investment in the commercialisation of university research returns $5 for every $1 spent and Allegra wants to see more investment in this area. This should be part of a broader approach to encourage closer collaboration between business and our education sector. Allegra will advocate for increased investment in R&D and closely consider any proposals put before the next parliament.
  3. Craft a comprehensive plan across Government to coordinate R&D strategic investment, policy and roles to seize competitive strategic advantage for Australia.
    Allegra agrees that investment in R&D should be strategically connected with Australia’s national economic, social, and environmental priorities. She supports national coordination across Government to ensure that we have the right policy settings and incentives to maximise returns and realise the full potential of our investment.
  4. Embolden discovery research by boosting investment in the major grant agencies to catapult breakthroughs and secure the science workforce with a bridge to the other side of the pandemic.
    Allegra strongly supports measures that can boost our innovation economy. If elected, Allegra will advocate for increased investment in R&D and closely consider any proposals put before the next parliament.
  5. Tackle the broken system of insecure work tied to competitive research grants especially for Australia’s early career scientists – the future of the profession.
    Allegra has spoken with many in the tertiary sector regarding the devastating impacts of the pandemic and the challenges that Universities now face to rebuild their capacity and workforce. Certainty and continuity of funding will play an important role in enabling Universities to attract and retain the highly skilled people that they need. As an economist, Allegra understands the scale of the challenge and if elected, will consider proposals to address these issues in consultation with relevant stakeholders and experts.
  6. Commit to keep funding the national science agencies in the coming term by at least current levels of investment indexed by CPI.
    If elected, Allegra will support this.
  7. Develop a comprehensive plan to transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguard Australia’s unique biodiversity.
    The current Parliament and those before, have failed to support the action that Australia needs. Instead of real action, the Morrison Government has subsidised fossil fuels to the tune of $11.6BN a year whilst cutting climate spending by 35%.
    If elected, Allegra will advocate for real climate policy now to meet the environmental imperative and seize the near $1TN economic opportunity. Allegra’s climate policy is based around 3 key areas:
  • A clear framework that provides policy certainty to business and the community – including a 50% emissions reduction target by 2030;
  • A sector-by-sector approach to emissions reduction – including at least 80% renewable electricity by 2030 and 75% of new car sales as electric by 2030
  • Support for our people – investing now in climate adaptation and developing the future skills needed for a green economy, with a particular focus on supporting the transition of those working in fossil fuels.

Allegra believes that the green transition is a huge economic opportunity, and the Government must set the framework, ensure the market works well, and invest alongside the private sector to generate a return for the taxpayer.

  1. Renew a long-term investment in the nation’s vital research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.
    Allegra strongly supports this. If elected, Allegra will consider this proposal in consultation with relevant stakeholders and experts.
  2. Craft a plan to tackle a decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and stop the brain drain of our children out of STEM.
    Allegra believes that every young person has a right to education that brings out their best, and is committed to building a stronger, fairer education system. Allegra’s policy platform on Education is based on the following principles:
  • Collaborating with states to strengthen public schooling, ensuring that the Gonski Review recommendations are fully implemented, getting at least 1 other public school in high school in Wentworth, and re-doubling our efforts on STEM to equip our young people for the future economy;
  • Building student confidence, capabilities, and creating better pathways into work, supporting schools to create stronger partnerships with industry, and leading by example through providing strong career pathways for young people in the public sector;
  • Restoring our universities’ international standing and post-school education.

STEM achievement is a critical part of the first pillar of Allegra’s policy platform, and she strongly supports measures to improve STEM achievement in Australian schools.

  1. Make a further commitment to programs to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM to ensure the nation draws on the widest possible pool of talent. Allegra believes in building a vibrant and inclusive society based on the respectful treatment of women, LGBTQI+ people and minorities, promoting diversity in public office and the workplace, supporting the social and economic empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and advocating for the humane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.Allegra will support evidence-based programs that demonstrate the potential to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM.In relation to equal rights for women, Allegra’s policy position is based on the following three broad principles:
  • Build a respectful culture: including fully implement all recommendations of the Respect@Work report including the positive duty on employers to prevent discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in the workplace.
  • Protect women from domestic abuse and violence: including providing better support local services providing emergency accommodation, financial/legal assistance, and counselling especially for the most vulnerable including refugees and women with disabilities and legislating ten days paid leave for women fleeing violence to continue in work.
  • Achieve gender equity in workforce participation and pay: including making childcare more affordable for Australian families with a focus on low-mid income earners, expanding paid parental leave, mandating that male partners take at least 20% of that leave, and extending pay gap disclosures under WGEA reporting for companies to set their own targets. She will also consider other measures to help close the superannuation gap between men and women.

If elected, Allegra will encourage sharing of parental leave through a proportion of the leave – for example 6 weeks – only available to the 2nd partner in a family and support measures that capitalise on the flexible work practices that got us through the pandemic.

back to top | back to main election page

Responses from independent Senate candidates, STA 2022 Federal Election Priorities

David POCOCK; Australian Capital Territory; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:
Candidate/campaign has provided a downloadable PDF (61kb)

Rex PATRICK; South Australia; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

Environment – Senator Patrick’s policy on the environment is that Australia needs to move towards renewable energy. At minimum Australia needs to hit the target of net zero by 2050 but if it were achieved earlier then that would be a wonderful thing. He also supports Zali Steggall’s climate bill which calls for a 60% reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030. There are more ambitious targets out there but this is what he thinks is the most achievable if we’re realistic about it. Australia needs to switch to renewable energy but it needs to be done in the most efficient way and not at a cost to consumers.
https://www.rexpatrick.com.au/climate_change_action

Education – Senator Patrick wants all Australians to have the opportunity to undertake tertiary education which is why he announced his ‘first degree free’ campaign.

https://www.rexpatrick.com.au/first-degree-free 

https://www.rexpatrick.com.au/first_degree_free_campaign_for_a_first_university_or_vocational_qualification_to_be_free

back to top | back to main election page

Max DICKS; Victoria; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

I aim to persuade you to vote for me by showing you that science and research is something that I care about quite a lot.

If I were to make an educated guess, I would assume that you think my last name is deserved and that if I were to be elected I would find myself among my own kind. As an introduction to who I am. I love science. When I was in High School my aspiration was to become a Nuclear Engineer. This aspiration was considered quite reasonable by teachers and fellow students alike. Unfortunately University wasn’t the best way for me to learn. I dropped out of my Bachelor of Science Degree after one year. I am a locksmith now, but I still love science. Australia is a small market globally. We need to transition our economy away from being so dependent on resource exports and start to focus on innovation with an eye towards the future.

I’ll be answering a few questions from the good people at Science & Technology Australia in the hope that you work out if I’m the right Senate Candidate for you.

1. Make Australia a global STEM superpower by growing R&D investment to lift Australia into the top ten OECD countries (relative to the size of the economy).

– Globalization effects research as well. It’s difficult to encourage multinationals to choose any one country in which to invest in research. Have an amazing, safe, beautiful country with good schools and healthcare. This is a country more and more people choose to live in. If we have the facilities, we can drive investment to the country by being the place where the researchers want to live.

2. Invest in a $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to drive income-generating commercialisation of Australian research and create thousands of new jobs. I’m assuming that you are talking about this? https://www.innovationaus.com/science-calls-for-2-4b-research-translation-fund/ I like what you are trying to do there and I like how it is reasoned and how you plan to make the funds available essentially immediately.

– I am not a fan of the 20% R&D tax incentive premium though. Tax law is wizardry. Unless you are a tax wizard I don’t think that anyone should be encouraging tweaks that might make tax minimization easier. It’s one of the reasons why the government doesn’t have the resources for the grants and funding that we might like. Also the present government’s priorities, but that’s them and not me.

3. Craft a comprehensive plan across Government to coordinate R&D strategic investment, policy and roles to seize competitive strategic advantage for Australia.

– I am very supportive of this as a goal. It would not be my focus. I think that the government does spend a lot of time planning when there are lots of projects that could be funded and start moving immediately. I would like to work towards this goal while funding what has already been identified and shelved.

4. Embolden discovery research by boosting investment in the major grant agencies to catapult breakthroughs and secure the science workforce with a bridge to the other side of the pandemic.

– If you are going to use buzzwords a trebuchet is clearly the superior device for kinetic relocation. I do however agree that we now have a cohort of scientists that will need new funding and areas to focus their research on post pandemic.

5. Tackle the broken system of insecure work tied to competitive research grants especially for Australia’s early career scientists – the future of the profession.

– This is something that is very important to me and I mention it on my website (Google Max Dicks, it’s not a trap). I spoke with a group of scientists a few years ago. They expressed that this lack of job security meant that if they wanted a home or family it was almost impossible to get a loan or maternity leave. This ensured that they moved away from research into the private sector, few return. I think it is a tragedy.

6. Commit to keep funding the national science agencies in the coming term by at least current levels of investment indexed by CPI.

– No, I think there should be more funding. There have been significant cuts over the last 10 years and I think that funding should be restored and exceeded.

7. Develop a comprehensive plan to transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguard Australia’s unique biodiversity.

– One of my long term goals as a politician and as a person is to have a planet that I want to live on, not one that I simply can.

8. Renew a long-term investment in the nation’s vital research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

– As a locksmith, I wasn’t particularly aware of NCRIS, but I am glad that I am now. It seems like something that I would want to keep well funded.

9. Craft a plan to tackle a decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and stop the brain drain of our children out of STEM.

– I am surprised to hear that this is the case. I would have thought with the proliferation of science communication youtube channels there would be an uptick in interest. It makes science easier to engage with and understand, which I always thought was a barrier. They also do some cool and flashy stuff which also helps with engagement. I am certainly supportive of tackling this problem.

10. Make a further commitment to programs to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM to ensure the nation draws on the widest possible pool of talent.

– There have been amazing discoveries in the world of science. Those who made those discoveries were as varied as the discoveries themselves. As Stephen Jay Gould said – “I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” If a student isn’t given the tools to realise their potential, it is both the student and the world as a whole that lose out.

I am not a scientist or a researcher. I am a Locksmith. I have a love for science that I will bring with me into politics and it will colour my decisions when I get there. Unfortunately as an independent Senator, my ability to effect any of these changes will be limited. If not completely stifled. I am still a science and research advocate, for my own reasons and because of the benefits that I think it will bring to society as a whole. I will do what I can to improve innovation and advancement.

In conclusion, science is cool, we all know it. I just hope to put pressure on the government, whoever that is, to loosen the purse strings.

back to top | back to main election page

Paul ROSS; Victoria; Independent

Response from the candidate/campaign:

We believe the holistic solution for optimising Australian S&T is to optimise Human-Organisation, Science & Technology (HOST), which is achieved via optimising HO at the government (i.e. societal-system) level.

This will reharmonise our society’s 4 Socio-Econo-Enviro[international/natural] (SEE-in) components of:

  1. The Socio- (for citizens)
  2. The Econo- (by and for citizens, which means it is a subset of the Socio-)
  3. International-Enviro- (interrelations between citizens and foreigners)
  4. Natural-Enviro (interrelations between citizens and nature).

so as to achieve the vision of ‘sustainable-stability prosperity optimisation’.

This vision is achieved via the mission of Coopetitionism: ‘minimal government systems – Infrastructure not Band-Aids – that maximise citizens’ Coopetition-contributive self-actualisation’ where Coopetition is ‘mutual good-faith Cooperation first & foremost and Competition the treasured second’.

Specifically, it includes 5 guaranteed and unconditional Citizens’ Empowerment Infrastructure (CEI) cornerstones – i.e.:

  1. Universal Rule of Coopetition-maximising Law
  2. Universal Liberal Democracy
  3. Universal Education
  4. Universal Healthcare
  5. The Universal Survival Income (USI), which is Survival-Income-Slavery (SIS) abolitionist.

With robust versions of the first 4, we only need The USI.

‘The USI-Reform’:

  1. Increase GST to 20% full-breadth
  2. Pay every in-country non-incarcerated adult citizen The Universal Survival Income (USI) of $20,000 per year (irrespective of whether or not they are in paid-work), which means a paid-worker currently earning $40,000 gross will receive around $60,000 gross [$5,000 for children to their guardian/s.]
  3. Eradicate Universal Minimum Hourly Wages (UMHoW), which eradicates Unemployment/Underemployment and unleashes both small/big business & our national net productivity [Trade-up and out of the UMHoW distortion – it’s a Frankenstein with nothing like it in nature]
  4. Abolish the dead-weight-loss of Centrelink, Job Service Provider (JSP) contracts and Jobseeker payments.

The USI-Reform is a PUSHE-eradicator – i.e. it eradicates Poverty, Unemployment (and Underemployment), Stigma (‘the dole-bludger’ narrative including its racist and disablist variants), Harassment (‘mutual obligations’) & paid-worker-Exploitation (PUSHE).

With scientists and technologists served by being able to self-actualise (and also not worry about the Survival-Income status of their adult-children and other family members), immediately, directly and once and for all, ‘The USI-Reform’ will go a long way to infrastructurally dealing with number 5: Tackle the broken system of insecure work tied to competitive research grants especially for Australia’s early career scientists – the future of the profession.

Coopetitionism also achieves number 10: ‘Make a further commitment to programs to boost diversity and inclusion in STEM to ensure the nation draws on the widest possible pool of talent.’

That is, not only does Coopetitionism empower ‘self-actualisation’, it also encompasses the full-spectrum of human-rights (such that racism, sexism etc. are mutually exclusive), which begs diversity and inclusion.

We have a draft of a causality ‘From the Big Bang to the Human-Mind’ [For a basic outline please see: ‘The Univisionist 2.13 – Fun-Fair Governance: From The Big Bang to The Universal Survival Income (USI)’], which we believe should be the linchpin around which science (and natural history) should be taught at school – due to its contextualised nature, we believe this will result in a Year 12 student being more science literate than a current Bachelor of Science graduate, which will achieve number 9. Craft a plan to tackle a decline in STEM achievement of Australian school students and stop the brain drain of our children out of STEM.

Regarding the environment (including number 7: Develop a comprehensive plan to transition to a net-zero emissions economy and safeguard Australia’s unique biodiversity), we believe the single most valuable action Australia can take is to implement Coopetitionism then let it self-export because, once people see it, they will want it for themselves.

Globally, this means an economy ‘exclusively efficiently producing and distributing the goods and services we need/desire, which we cannot or don’t wish to produce ourselves’.

That is, since ‘The USI-Reform’ ensures there is no Poverty and no Unemployment, the economy will become efficient because it will no longer be corrupted by the Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (Triple-J) impetus.

Meanwhile, in the Developing World, its population will fall as people will no longer need large families for captive cheap labour and old-age pensions.

Lastly, regarding the other 6 points namely:

  1. Make Australia a global STEM superpower by growing R&D investment to lift Australia into the top ten OECD countries (relative to the size of the economy).
  2. Invest in a $2.4 billion Research Translation Fund to drive income-generating commercialisation of Australian research and create thousands of new jobs.
  3. Craft a comprehensive plan across Government to coordinate R&D strategic investment, policy and roles to seize competitive strategic advantage for Australia.
  4. Embolden discovery research by boosting investment in the major grant agencies to catapult breakthroughs and secure the science workforce with a bridge to the other side of the pandemic.
  5. Commit to keep funding the national science agencies in the coming term by at least current levels of investment indexed by CPI.
  6. Renew a long-term investment in the nation’s vital research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

via massive USI-Reform-induced budget savings including from charity (currently a whopping 11% of GDP yet still failing to keep-up), law-enforcement, health (according to the Productivity Commission, mental health alone costs us $200 billion per year) and bureaucracy, there will be plenty of revenue to invest in S&T.

Also, with Universal Empowerment achieved, S&T is the obvious destination for most other government revenue.

back to top | back to main election page