Collectively representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and technologists through our membership and staff, we call for science to be a priority platform for the major parties’ campaigns in the next federal election.
Science and technology will shape our future and help us solve some of the greatest challenges we face. It will underpin the health, wealth, and wellbeing of our nation, our environment and of all Australians .
Without adequate support for STEM and a high profile during the upcoming election, we put our future at risk.
There are four areas of focus we call on decision-makers and candidates to address when Australians are called to vote at the next election:
- A whole-of-government plan for science and technology
- A strategy to equip the future Australian workforce with STEM skills
- Strong investment in both fundamental and applied research
- A commitment to creating policy across all portfolios that is informed by the best available evidence
The STEM sector would like to see all parties:
- Commit to making Australia a top 10 global investor in research and development (aiming for 3% of GDP).
- Commit to assigning a Federal Cabinet Minister to the Science portfolio.
- Commit to establishing a 10-year plan for research and development (building on NISA in 2015 and the Science Statement in 2016), with 5-year funding plans and a long-term vision for stronger Australian science and technology
- Commit to scoping Research Future Fund to complement the work of the Australian Research Council (ARC)
- Commit to reversing recent cuts to the Commonwealth Support Grants and the Research Block Grant and increasing federal research funding grants annually by a minimum of CPI
- Commit to no cuts to federal institutions such as the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the CSIRO
- Commit to fund programs and initiatives that support better equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM including, but not limited to, supporting gender equity, cultural diversity and Indigenous participation in STEM
- Commit to empower the STEM sector to be globally competitive through supportive visa conditions for researchers and policy that enables better international collaboration and partnerships
We, the nation’s science and technology leaders, will work hard to ensure that the health, wealth and wellbeing of all Australians are secured for many generations to come.
As the solutions sector, we will work to tackle the great challenges facing the world, and solve them with science.
In striving towards this bold vision, we ask for the support of all Australians, Australian governments and political candidates in future federal elections.
The Science & Technology Australia membership supports this statement, including the following organisations:
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